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THE 

LAUGHING 

MUSE- 




ARTHUR GUITERMAN 




HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS 
NEW YORK AND LONDON 






The author acknowledges with thanks the 
courtesy of the editors of Life, The New 
York Times, Woman s Home Companion, 
Harper s Magazine, The Century, St. Nicholas, 
Collier s Weekly, The Bookman, Munsey s 
Magazine, Scribner s Magazine, Puck, The 
Youth s Companion, Smart Set, The Ladies 
Home Journal, The Ladies 1 World, Good 
Housekeeping, and The Sun, in granting 
permission to reprint the verses contained in 
this book. 



THE LAUGHING MUSE 



Copyright, 1915, by Harper & Brothers 

Printed in the United States of America 

Published September, 1915 

M-Q 



FATE, THE JESTER 

The planets are bells on his motley, 
He fleers at the stars in their state, 

He banters the suns burning hotly 
The Jester whose nickname is Fate. 

The lanterns that kindle their rays with 
The comets, are food for his mirth; 

But, oh, how he laughs as he plays with 
His mad little bauble, the Earth! 

He looks on the atomies crowding 

The face of our pitiful ball; 
His form in the nebula shrouding, 

He chuckles, unnoted of all 

The valorous puppets that chatter 
Superbly of Little and Great. 

A flip of his finger would shatter 

The dreams of these "Masters of Fate" 



3969 



He laughs at their strivings and rages 
And tosses the murmurant sphere 

To bowl through the zodiac-stages 
That measure the groove of a Year. 

He laughs as he trips up the maddest 
Who scramble for power and place, 

But laughs with the bravest and gladdest 
Fate s comrades, who laugh in his face; 

Who laugh at themselves and their troubles 
Whatever the beaker they quaff; 

Who, laughing at Vanity s bubbles, 
Forget not to love as they laugh; 

Who laugh in the teeth of disaster, 
Yet hope through the darkness to find 

A road past the stars to a Master 
Of Fate in the vastness behind. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 



FATE, THE JESTER v 

GREAT ADVENTURES 

THE QUEST OF THE RIBBAND 3 

STRICTLY GERM-PROOF n 

THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST CAM-U-EL .... 13 

A PROVERBIAL TRAGEDY 16 

THE HAT 17 

A TROPICAL TRAGEDY 21 

THE QUEST OF THE CAR 23 

A TRACT FOR AUTOS 31 

THE TALE OF A DAGHESTAN RUG 34 

A PURE MATHEMATICIAN 40 

THE POEM ON SPRING . . . 42 

TRUE SPRING 47 

AN ADIRONDACK IDYLL 48 

A BUNGALOW 52 

DORLAN S HOME-WALK 55 

BASEBALL IN DE PARK 59 

A NEW MEXICAN BO-PEEP 62 

THE MEXICAN HAMMOCK . , 67 

A LAY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY ...... 70 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

THE PILGRIMS THANKSGIVING FEAST .... 73 

THE WISHBONE 75 

A TRUE BILL AGAYNST CHRISTMASSE .... 77 

THE STOCKING 79 

A BRIDGE SCANDAL 81 

HENRY HUDSON S LOG 82 

WHITE MAGIC 85 

A PERSIAN APOLOGUE 86 

TACT 88 

FAME 91 

LOGIC 92 

A HINDU RIDDLE 94 

THE IRREVERENT BRAHMIN 95 

BREAD 97 

THE STONE S JOKE 98 

THE BEST AND WORST NAIL IN THE ARK . . 100 

WHAT THE DEVIL SAID TO NOAH 103 

MIDNIGHT ALPHABET 105 

MAINLY FEMININE 

THIS Is SHE in 

THE LASSES o* LINTON 114 

FASHION 115 

THE WIND MAIDEN 117 

A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE 118 

A WHOLE DAY! 120 

ONE FEATHER 121 

THE COUNTRY DANCE 123 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

THE ORGAN-GRINDER LADY AND THE SCISSORS- 
GRINDER MAN 124 

A GREEK SONG 128 

THE GROCERY BOY 129 

A SONG FOR SILVIUS 130 

THE PASSIONATE SUBURBANITE TO His LOVE . 131 

OUR SUBURB 133 

LOVERS LANE 135 

TWIST-RHYME ON WOMEN 137 

A VALENTINE 138 

A BILL FROM CUPID 140 

THE RAG DOLLY S VALENTINE 142 

ARCHITECTURAL 144 

A BOY AND A PUP , 145 

ON CHERUBS 147 

CHUMS 148 

A STRIKE IN FAIRYLAND 150 

HOUSE BLESSING 152 

CLEVER ANIMALS 

WHY TIGERS CAN T CLIMB 155 

PIGEON ENGLISH 157 

THE MINA-BIRD !ij9 

THE CARDINAL-BIRD 161 

THE SMALL HOT ROBIN AND THE LARGE COLD 

WORM 162 

WHY MOSQUITOES STING 164 

THE BEE !66 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

THE FIRST CAT 168 

THE KITTY AND THE CAT 170 

.ETIQUETTE 172 

LITTLE LOST PUP 174 

THE AMBIGUOUS DOG . . 176 

THE TALE OF TAILS 177 

WOOD-HARVEST 180 

COYOTE AND THE STAR 181 

HOMEWARD BOUND 185 

THE BALLAD OF THE BLACKBIRD 186 

THE BAT 190 

TEA WITH A DINOSAUR 191 

THE HUMMING-BIRD 194 

THE RABBIT OF WALES 195 

MACARONI 198 

THE CUCKOO 200 

TRAMPING 202 

MERE LITERATURE 

IMPUDENT INTERVIEWS: 

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW . 205 

RUDYARD KIPLING 209 

JACK LONDON 213 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY 215 

LETTERS TO THE LITERATI: 

To SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE . . . . 218 

To J. M. BARRIE 221 

To MAURICE HEWLETT 224 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

RHYMED REVIEW: 

BELLA DONNA, BY ROBERT HICHENS . . . 227 

DlVINA COMMEDIA 230 

THE YOUNG CELTIC POETS 231 

MAVRONE 232 

THE WRATH OF THE POET 234 

THE NEO-CELTIC CRITICISM 237 

THE VILLAIN PROTESTS 239 

OPERA IN ENGLISH: AIDA 241 

WHAT THE EDITOR W T ANTS 244 

THE MENTORS 246 



GREAT ADVENTURES 



THE QUEST OF THE RIBBAND 

LORD RONALD was lord of a high domain 
(He dwelt on the eighteenth floor). 

His bride was the Beauteous Lady Jane, 
A rose-colored robe she wore. 

A boudoir cap o* the velvet fine 

Lay soft on her tresses gold. 
She read the Advertisements line for line 

To know what the Papers told: 

Of laces at Macy s, of thimbles at Gimbel s, of urns 
at Stern s and churns at Hearn s, of axes at Saks s, 
gold eagels at Siegel s, rubber heels at O Neill s, fur 
mittens like Peary 9 s at Mr. McCreery s, and silver 
salt-shakers at John Wanamakers. 

"Now busk thee and boun thee, Lord Ronald!" 

she cried; 
"Away to the Bargain Sale 

[3] 



And fetch me a Band o the Silk o j Pride 
O* the hue o the lilac pale! 

"A Silken Band o j the width o my hand 

And rilled as the water clear; 
Of yards full three its length shall be, 

And its shade like the Sample, here!" 

The Sample he took from her fingers white, 

He kissed her with kisses four, 
And hied him away oh, the Hardy Knight! 

To the Gate o the Mammoth Store. 

To him in the rush o j that Awesome Place 
Where gaping and dumb he stood, 

A Floor-Walker ambled with dainty grace 
And questioned him what he would. 

Quoth Ronald, "Thou Floor- Walker great and 
grand, 

A Word in thy Pearly Ear: 
Now where shall I get me a Silken Band 

0* the shade o* the Sample here?" 

[41 



He patted himself on the nut-brown hair, 
That Floor- Walker bright and brave; 

He pointed his Thumb to the marble stair 
And said, with a Gracious Wave: 

"Third aisle, right; down one flight; elevator; 
escalator; eighth floor, west; trousers pressed; second 
turning; wood-burning; shipping-clerk; fancy-work; 
straight ahead; cake and bread; past rest-room; 
near guest-room; photo-mounter; Ribbon-counter!" 

"Gramercy!" him answered Lord Ronald then, 

And turned on his heel full swift, 
And battled his way to that iron pen 

Which Englishmen call "The Lift." 

While up through the glimmering shaft they sped 

As fast as a Shooting Star, 
He spake to the Youth o the Woolly Head 

That governed the Iron Car: 

"Say thou o the Cap that is brightly bound 
Wi Braid o j the Golden Fleece, 
[51 



Oh, where may a Ribband o Silk be found 
That s like to my Sample Piece?" 

The Galliard that governed the speeding Car 

From out of his dream awoke. 
He halted the Cage wi a grinding jar, 

He opened his lips and spoke: 

" Mind the door! Eighth floor! Iron-heaters, 
carpet-beaters; negligees, lacquer trays; prince sse 
slips, ostrich tips; curtain-poles, bolster-rolls; Brus 
sels nets, shaving-sets; ticket-punches, boxed lunch 
es; office dials, graded vials; -pillow-shams, smoked 
hams; silver gauze, rabbit paws; riding-crops, kitchen 
mops; opera scores, cedar oars; menu-holders, bill- 
folders; wax matches, window-catches; music chimes, 
pickled limes; paper pencils, pattern stencils; pow 
der-jars, fine cigars; printing-presses, party dresses; 
perambulators, over-gaiters, nutmeg- graters, indica 
tors; champagne-nippers, copper dippers, wire-clip 
pers, carpet slippers; couches, pouches; broilers, 
oilers; puzzles, muzzles; biggins, piggins; pins, 
tins; nibs, bibs; chains, canes; balls, shawls; dotted 
veils, percales, wooden pails, Special Sales: New 
[6] 



books , view books; sets of Gibbons, SILK 
RIBBONS r 

Now halted Lord Ronald and wavered long, 
But thought on his Dame s behest; 

And forth through the whirl of the jostling throng 
He fared on his knightly Quest. 

He sought for that Ribband of lilac hue 

Desired of his queenly Bride. 
Unswerving he held to his Purpose true, 

For nothing he turned aside, 

Though sirens expanded their Golden Smiles 

To dazzle the Daring Man 
Where hither and yon in the tangled aisles 

Were Magical Scrolls which ran: 

"Rices, spices lowest prices!" "Lamps, guimpes 
trading - stamps!" "Braids, brocades highest 
grades!" " Waists assorted just imported!" 
"Fancy collars seven dollars!" "Caps for nurses 
suit all purses!" "Pure confections choice selec 
tions!" " Water - wings, garden - swings; baby- 

2 (7} 



wagons, crystal flagons; herbariums, aquariums; 
thermometers, barometers; zoetropes, microscopes, 
braided ropes, envelopes; stocks, blocks, frocks, 
clocks; mixing-bowls, casseroles!" 

Right onward he pressed to a Counter, dressed 

Wi Ribbands of every shade; 
And he was aware of a Maiden there 

Which spake to another Maid. 

But still as she chattered, that Maiden young, 

And settled her combs aright, 
"Now hearken, O Maid o the Lively Tongue," 

Cried Ronald, the Hardy Knight! 

"For fain would I buy wi the Silver due, 

Or else wi the gude red Gold, 
A Ribband o Silk o the lilac hue 

That s like to the Shred I hold." 

She daunted the Knight wi a Vacant Glare 

As though he were far away. 
She palsied his lips wi a Stony Stare 

While ever she said her say: 
[8] 



" Sez I, sez you, sez they, sez he; sez I to her, sez 
she to me. Sez I to him, We got to part! Oh, 
Girlie, ain t you got no heart? sez he, so sad, I nearly 
cried. He d took her for a auto-ride that Sadie! 
Ain t she got a nerve! Sez I to him, You don t 
deserve Sez he, f Just give a man a chance! 
Sez I, You goin to the dance? Sez I to him, sez 
he to me; sez you, sez they, sez I, sez she." 

Lord Ronald was stout, Lord Ronald was hale, 

Lord Ronald was bold, forby; 
His gauntlet he set on the counter-rail; 

He vaulted that Counter high! 

The Ribbands, he rummaged them To and Fro, 

He scattered them Fro and To, 
Till he Sund in its wrapping as white as snow 

The Ribband of lilac hue. 

Then yards full three wi his Snickersnee 

He cut of that Ribband gay; 
On the Counter he told its Weight in Gold 

And carried the Prize away; 

[9] 



Away from the Damsel of Cold Disdain, 
Away from the Mammoth Store. 

And he and the Beauteous Lady Jane 
Lived happily ever more. 



[10] 



STRICTLY GERM-PROOF 

/ 
THE Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup 

Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gam 
boled up; 

They looked upon the Creature with a loathing 
undisguised; 

It wasn t Disinfected and it wasn t Sterilized. 

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of 

Disease; 
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd 

degrees; 
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished 

Hope 
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated 

soap. 

In sulphureted hydrogen they steeped its wiggly 

ears; 
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of 

hard-boiled shears; 



They donned their rubber mittens and they took 

it by the hand 
And lected it a member of the Fumigated Band. 

There s not a Micrococcus in the garden where 

they play; 

They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day; 
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic 

Cup 
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic 

Pup. 



[12] 



THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST CAM-U-EL 

AN ARABIAN APOLOGUE 

ACROSS the sands of Syria, 
Or, possibly, Algeria, 

Or some benighted neighborhood of barrenness and 
drouth, 

There came the Prophet Sam-u-el 
Upon the Only Cam-u-el 

A bumpy, grumpy Quadruped of discontented 
mouth. 

The atmosphere was glutinous; 
The Cam-u-el was mutinous; 
He dumped the pack from off his back; with 
horrid grunts and squeals 

He made the desert hideous; 
With strategy perfidious 

He tied his neck in curlicues, he kicked his paddy 
heels. 

[13] 






Then quoth the gentle Sam-u-el, 
"You rogue, I ought to lam you well! 
Though zealously I ve shielded you from every 
grief and woe, 

It seems, to voice a platitude, 
You haven t any gratitude. 

I d like to hear what cause you have for doing 
thus and so!" 

To him replied the Cam-u-el, 
"I beg your pardon, Sam-u-el. 
I know that I m a Reprobate, I know that I m a 
Freak; 

But, oh! this utter loneliness! 
My too-distinguished Onliness! 
Were there but other Cam-u-els I wouldn t be 
Unique." 

The Prophet beamed beguilingly. 
"Aha," he answered, smilingly, 
"You feel the need of company? I clearly under 
stand. 

We ll speedily create for you 
The corresponding mate for you 
Ho! presto, change-o, dinglebat!" he waved a 
potent hand, 



And, lo! from out Vacuity 
A second Incongruity, 

To wit, a Lady Cam-u-el was born through magic 
art. 

Her structure anatomical, 
Her form and face were comical; 
She was, in short, a Cam-u-el, the other s counter 
part. 

As Spaniards gaze on Aragon, 
Upon that Female Paragon 

So gazed the Prophet s Cam-u-el, that primal 
Desert Ship. 

A connoisseur meticulous, 
He found her that ridiculous 

He grinned from ear to auricle until he split his lip! 

Because of his temerity 
That Cam-u-el s posterity 

Must wear divided upper lips through all their 
solemn lives! 

A prodigy astonishing 
Reproachfully admonishing 

Those wicked, heartless married men who ridicule 
their wives. 



A PROVERBIAL TRAGEDY 

THE Rolling Stone and the Turning Worm 

And the Cat that Looked at a King 
Set forth on the Road that Leads to Rome 

For Youth will have its Fling, 
The Goose will lay the Golden Eggs, 

The Dog must have his Day, 
And Nobody locks the Stable Door 

Till the Horse is stol n away. 

But the Rolling Stone, that was never known 

To Look before the Leap 
Plunged down the hill to the Waters Still 

That run so dark, so deep; 
And the leaves were stirred by the Early Bird 

Who sought his breakfast where 
He marked the squirm of the Turning Worm 

And the Cat was Killed by Care! 



16 



THE HAT 

IT was a Gallant blithe and gay 

That walked the City Street; 
The Street, ywot, was hight "Broadway," 
The Gallant, "Master William Gray." 
He sought an Inn, yclept "Cafe," 

Because he wished to eat. 

He swung the Door with mickle Joy 

And entered in thereat, 
When came a Little Blackguard Boy 
With Buttons all of Brass Alloy, 
Which, much to Master Gray s Annoy, 

Essayed to Check his Hat. 

The pretty Hat! twas made of Fur, 

It bore a Ribband Bow; 
Twas soft and smooth as Miniver; 
That gentle Hat it seemed to purr; 
And Master Gray with strong Demur 

Refused to let it go. 

[17] 



"Thou shalt not have the Hat, pardee! 

That rests upon my Brow; 
A Hat it is of High Degree, 
Fve worn it both by Land and Sea, 
And in its Youth it sheltered me, 

And I ll protect it now!" 

Yet strove that Boy with Might and Main 

And showed a Screed of Rules 
Where "Check your Hat!" was written plain 
And eke, "All Guests must drink Champagne/ 
Quoth Master Gray in High Disdain, 

"Such Laws are made for Fools!" 

"Thou dst check my Hat, forsooth? I know 

Right well the why* and whence ! 
That when I boun myself to go 
Thou dst brush it hard, mon beau chapeau, 
And smirk, and smile, and lout full low 
To cozen me of Pence!" 

But now the Host a strong Array 
Of Waiters mustered there, 
[18! 



Which muttered, "Lout!" and "Country Jay!" 
"Where wouldst thou hang thy Hat?" scoffed 

they. 

Replied this Gallant, blithe and gay, 
"F faith, beneath my Chair!" 

They called the Watch with lusty Shout: 

The City Watch renowned, 
With Fire-lads, a sturdy Rout, 
And Train-bands, too, came bustling out, 
And all to tame the Stubborn Lout 

Which sternly held his Ground. 

"Give up the Hat," now swelled the Cry, 

"As it is meet ye should!" 
Whereto this Gallant made Reply, 
"Come One, come All, this Hat shall fly 
From its firm Base as soon as I!" 

And there the Matter stood 

Until Our People, Arms in Hand, 

Uprose! Their wild Debates 
And Tumults moved our Statesmen bland 
To change the Code which rules the Land 

[19] 



The Constitution great and Grand 
Of These United States! 

They framed a Law, those Statesmen good, 

In Congress as they sat: 
"Hereafter be it understood 
That None that seeks an Inn for Food 
Need Check his Headpiece, Cap, or Hood, 

Which is to say, his Hat." 

Then chant the Praise, with joyous Din, 

Of dauntless Master Gray, 
Which braved the Terrors of that Inn, 
The Hat-boy s Scowl, the Waiters Grin, 
And kept his Hat through Thick and Thin 

Upon that Famous Day! 



[20 



A TROPICAL TRAGEDY 

AN Agile Ambulating Alligator 

Observed upon the bank one sultry eve, 

A Patronizing Prestidigitator 

With positively nothing up his sleeve. 

The Ravenous Reptilian Alligator 

Remarked, "It must be deuced hot in town!" 
And, winking at a Passing Legislator, 

He gulped the Prestidigitator down. 

Alas! the Portly Prestidigitator 

Was garnished with his Implements of Art 
A Wand, a Patent Lightning Calculator, 

A Rabbit and a Necromantic Chart. 

Such Objects in the Saurian s Equator 
Could hardly fail to put him out of trim; 

In fact, the Late-repenting Alligator 
Acknowledged that they disagreed with him. 



And thus a Drear, Dyspeptic Alligator 
Is stretched upon the Silicated Sands; 

A Predigested Prestidigitator 

Is what his Constitution now demands. 



[22] 



THE QUEST OF THE CAR 

AN AUTO-BUY-O-GRAPHIC BALLAD 

"Now whither and whither, Lord Ronald so gay, 

And whither so free and so far?" 
"I haste to the Bounds o the Great White Way 

To choose me a Motor-Car." 

"And what of the Car that ye mean to buy 

Its name and its Pedigree?" 
"Oh, ask of the Wind in the sounding Sky, 

But ask not that of me! 

"For it may be a Leal or a Pupmobile, 
A Krag or a Biff-McClung; 
For many, ye ken, are the Motor Men 
And marvelous glib of Tongue. 

"It may be a Czar or a Kwiggle-Kar, 
Or else, for aught I know, 
3 [2 3 ] 



A Reinhardt-Fritz or a Dunderblitz 

Or a Clement-Rochefoucauld. 

*o c, k f titcoe 

"For vowed am I to a Mission high 

To search from East to West 
All Lands that are till I find the Car 

Which is approved the Best. 

"For I have sworn to my Lady Jane 
By her milk-white hand so small 

That none will I take for her sweet Sake, 
Until I have seen them all!" 

Lord Ronald was come to a proud Garage 

That stood by a dismal Fen; 
And there, by the Sound of their Persiflage, 

He knew were the Motor Men. 

And one there was with the Eagle Eye, 
The Face of the Hatchet True, 

The Shell-rimmed Glass and the Bulgar Tie 
And the Collar edged with blue. 

Oh, Rubies four had the Ring he wore, 
His Coat had the Latest Shape; 

[24] 



And his Cheek, shaved clean by a Razor keen, 
Was the Cheek of the Brazen Ape. 

He haled the Knight by the Fingers wan 
To where with Radiance crowned, 

A Golden Car was throned upon 
A Turning-table round. 

Oh, twice he bowed and thrice he bowed 

Before that Golden Chaise; 
Then full and strong and loud and long 

He sang its Hymn of Praise: 

"Approach! Approach! redoubted Knight! Ap 
proach, oh, lucky Neophyte, and view upon this 
wooden Stage the Wonder of the Horseless Age; 
the King, the Ace, the Jack and Queen of all that 
runs by Gasoline; Invention s Incandescent Star, 
the Unexampled Kwiggle-Kar! The Motor, first: 
I wish to state the Cylinders (they number eight 
with Tungsten Valves] are cast en bloc; and steady, 
steady as a Clock this Shaft of Higginbotham Steel 
propels the Patent Caisson Wheel which cannot 
slip in Mud or Mire because it wears the Skidmore 
Tire. Observe the Sweep from Front to Rear! 

[25] 



the Spiral Bevel Axle Gear, the Floating Axle, 
Intake Pipe, the Carburetor (Ogham type)! Can 
Future Ages say too much about our Multimetal 
Clutch the Brake that never disappoints, the Ban 
ning Universal Joints? Remark our patent Sud 
den Stop ! Oh, see our Spanish Leather Top, 
the easy-swinging Pinchless Door, the Turkish Rug 
upon the Floor! The Cushions, neatly tilted there, 
are stuffed with Hand-picked Monkey Hair. The 
Roland Horn the Oval Springs the Case for 
Goggles, Gloves, and Things Ignition Circu 
lation Splash Transmission Spark Plug 
Bumper Dash Magneto Radiator 
Feed Control Equipment Starter Speed! " 

He gasped and he clutched at the Atmosphere, 

He fell to the Parquet Floor. 
Lord Ronald bequeathed him a Silent Tear 

And went to the Shop Next Door. 

"Come hither! * he cried to the Man in Charge, 

"O thou of the Stately Mien, 
And tell of the Merits both small and large 

Possessed of thy Buzz machine! 

[26] 



"For far have I ridden and far must ride 

Abroad on my Knightly Quest 
To find, of all Cars in the World so wide, 

That Car which is proved the Best." 

The Motor Man rose from a Mission Bench 

That was of the Quartered Oak, 
And, beating the Air with a Monkey Wrench, 

His rhythmical Piece he spoke: 

"They brag yet do not heed howe er these others 
boast of Safety, Smoothness, Speed, or Trips from 
Coast to Coast. For even if they show a Vase for 
Silken Flowers, they have not well they know! 
a WIND SHIELD like to ours! All others in the 
Field lament: Alack, alas! we cannot match this 
Shield which is not made of Glass 9 ! Tis cut of 
Crystal clear that may not crack or dim; who has 
it need not fear, for naught can injure him. Be 
hold! you set it straight or slant it as you please, 
at seven, twenty-eight, or forty-five Degrees! It 
stops the Icy Blast, repels the Dusty Gust; it makes 
the Car run fast, it keeps the Parts from Rust. It 
keeps the Engine clean, it keeps the Tires sound, it 

[27] 



saves the Gasoline, it makes the Wheels go round. 
With deep, despairing Groans our Rivals have to 
yield! Then buy the Car that owns this Ne Plus 
Ultra Shield!" 

Sore tempted was Ronald, but heaved a Sigh 

And quoth as he left that Hall: 
"Nay, never a Motor I dare to buy 

Until I have seen them all!" 

And many and fair, aye, many and rare 
Were the Cars that his Eyes had seen 

When he entered a Store with a Rosewood Floor 
A Place for a Royal Queen. 

Each Lamp that glowed in that bright Abode 

Was pure as a Maiden s Tear; 
The Curtains that rolled from their Rods of Gold 

Were pink as a Bashful Ear. 

Of Onyx rich were the Columns, which 
Were smooth as the Watered Silk, 

And lighted through with the faint, far Blue 
That shines on the City Milk. 
[28! 



And there in the Shade of its Rose-leaf Hood, 

At rest in a Corner snug, 
A Car that was built for a Fairy stood, 

Its Wheels on a Persian Rug. 

A Squire rose up from a Velvet Seat 
And beamed on the Worthy Knight, 

And chanted his Tale in a Voice as sweet 
As the Trill of a Lark in Flight: 

"Rest, happy Traveler! Gaze upon the Car that s 
called the Oberon. A Beam of Light, a winged 
Flower, the Car that moves by Secret Power. What 
need to praise its Perfect Parts? Address it gently, 
and it starts. Just speak to it in kindly wise, and 
swiftly, softly, off it flies. Without a Murmur, 
Creak, or Jar, as silent as a Shooting Star it drifts 
along the Fragrant Miles, and when it sees a Hill it 
smiles! A Thing of Joy and Love and Song, it 
sweeps along, along, along, transporting them that 
ride within afar from Trouble, Toil, and Sin! 19 

He turned on Lord Ronald his Eye so brown 
And paused in his lilting Lay. 

[29] 



But Ronald had fallen adown, adown, 
A-swooning in Bliss away! 

They gathered him up and they bore him home ^ 

Six proper young Men and tall. 
He opened one Eye as the Stair they clomb 

And sighed: "I have seen them all!" 

They laid him to rest in his downy Bed 

To comfort his weary Brain; 
And tender and cool on his fevered Head 

Was the Hand of his Lady Jane. 

And long did he fare, in the Realms of Dream, 

Anew on his Knightly Quest. 
And long did he ponder the Mighty Theme 

"Which Car shall be held the Best?" 

He pondered the Words of the Motor Men, 
Their Reasons of Pith and Force; 

He visioned those Glorious Cars, and then 
He rose and bought a Horse! 



[30] 



A TRACT FOR AUTOS 

COME, all you little Runabouts 
And gather round my Knee; 

I ll tell you of a Touring Car 
As bad as bad could be: 

It worked its Klaxon overtime 

To make a Horrid Noise 
And thought it Fun to muss up Hens 

And little Girls and Boys. 

It used to blow its Tires out 

To hear its Owner swear, 
And loved to balk on Trolley Tracks 

To give his Friends a Scare. 

At last this naughty Touring Car 
Got drunk on Too Much Oil, 

And went a-boiling up the Road 
As hard as it could boil, 

[31] 



And went a-plunging, tumbling down 

A dreadful, dark Ravine; 
And there it burns and burns and burns 

In smelly Gasoline! 

Another little Touring Car 

Was very, very good; 
It always minded Brake and Wheel, 

And never splashed its Hood. 

It wouldn t skid, nor anger Folks 

By giving them a Shove, 
But cooed as gently through its Horn 

As any Sucking Dove. 

It never grew Unmannerly 

To Market-Cart or Dray, 
But whispered, "Please," and, "Thank you, 
Sir!" 

To those that blocked its Way. 

It never scattered Bolts and Plugs 
About the Countryside, 

[32] 



But did its Level Best to be 
Its Owner s Joy and Pride. 

So, when twas Time to yield its Place 

To Models fresh and new, 
This lovely little Touring Car 

Developed Planes and flew! 



33 



THE TALE OF A DAGHESTAN RUG 

"Whatever their type of ornamentation may be, a 
deep and complicated symbolism, originating in Baby 
lon and possibly India, pervades every denomination 
of Oriental carpets." SIR GEORGE BIRDWOOD. 

STRANGE Stones of their Simple Lives 
Do Oriental Maids and Wives 
Embroider, so the Dealers tell us, 
In Symbols on the Rugs they sell us. 

Then read the Record woven thus 
By Zillah of the Caucasus, 
Deciphered by my Friend, Sardjeenian, 
A Most Reliable Armenian. 



Among the Hills of Daghestan 

That frown upon the Wayside Khan, 

Her Father s Hospitable Villa, 
The Fairest of her People, Zillah, 

[34] 



Composed, with skilful Twist and Tug, 
An Odjaklik, or Hearthside Rug; 

Enweaving there in those Queer Symbols 
That look like Rolling-pins and Thimbles, 

Her simple Joys and Hopes and Fears, 
The Story of her Maiden Years. 

With Entertainment to provide her 

A Long-tailed Lambkin played beside her 

And cropped the Mead and quaffed the Stream ;- 
A Cherished Pet with Fleece of Cream 

But lately rescued from a Leopard 
By Kurdish Kar, the Gentle Shepherd. 

Along the Road from Erivan 
A Warrior with Yataghan 

And other Social Incidentals 
Au fait among the Orientals, 

[35] 



In Cutaway Capote arrayed, 
Approached to woo the Mountain Maid. 

"My Name," said he, "Resplendent Zillah, 
Is Ali Abdul Hassan Billah! 

"I come, perhaps you understand, 
To beg that Precious Gift, you Hand. 

"Behold! I faint from Sheer Emotion! 
Ah, let me prove my Heart s Devotion! 

"Assign me any Awful Task; 
I vow to do whatever you ask!" 

The Maiden lisped: "Your Offer s handsome 
(I know you re worth a Prince s Ransom); 

"I may decide to be your Wife, 
But search me first the Tree of Life 

"Which blooms through all the Seasons Changes 
Among our bleak Caucasian Ranges, 

[36] 



"And cull for me the Mystic Pear 
That you will find a-growing there. 

"But let me warn you, Ardent Stranger, 
You ll find the Errand full of Danger! 

"For first you needs must bring to Terms 
The Three -horned Birds and Hunchbacked 
Worms 

"That lurk among the Giant Boulders 
To prey on Indiscreet Beholders. 

"Then must you slay a Fiercer yet 
The wild Constricting Dragonette 

"That dwells beyond the Andi River. 
And last, oh, how the Mountains quiver 

"If he but gives his Tail a Whisk! 
The dread Tri-cornered Basilisk!" 

Low bowed the Chief of Haughty Bearing 
And galloped to the Northward, swearing 

[37] 



To battle, conquer, seek and find. 

(And Kar the Shepherd trudged behind.) 

Right gallantly adventured AH 

Through Rugged Pass and Gloomy Valley. 

His Sword divided into Thirds 
The Hunchbacked Worms and Three - horned 
Birds. 

Against the Serpentine Constrictor 
He likewise proved a Noble Victor. 

And then he challenged, brave and brisk, 
The dread Tri-cornered Basilisk, 

Which, pausing not to scrutinate him, 
Unlocked its Grisly Jaws, and ate him! 

Oh, Fatal Meal! Upon its Side 

The Poisoned Creature writhed, and died! 

Now Kar the Shepherd, sadly rueing, 
Surveyed the Tragic Scene till, viewing 
[38] 



The Tree of Life unguarded there, 
He gathered in the Mystic Pear. 

Thus, laden down with Fate s Providings, 
The Precious Fruit and Sorry Tidings, 

He lifted up his Feet and ran 
And told the Belle of Daghestan. 

A Maiden who has lost a Lover 
Should not too rapidly recover; 

Still, Ali, that Unlucky Man, 
Left Widows Five in Erivan; 

And so the Philosophic Zillah 
Resignedly remarked, "Bismillah!" 

And since the Foes of Basilisks 
Are not the Best Insurance Risks, 

She vowed no more her Hopes to jeopard 
And married Kar, the Gentle Shepherd. 

4 [39] 



A PURE MATHEMATICIAN 

LET Poets chant of Clouds and Things 

In lonely attics! 
A Nobler Lot is his, who clings 

To Mathematics. 

Sublime he sits, no Worldly Strife 

His Bosom vexes, 
Reducing all the Doubts of Life 

To Y s and X s. 

And naught to him s a Primrose on 

The river s border; 
A Parallelepipedon 

Is more in order. 

Let Zealots vow to do and dare 

And right abuses! 
He d rather sit at home and square 

Hypotenuses. 

[40] 



Along his straight-ruled paths he goes 
Contented with em, 

The only Rhythm that he knows, 
A Logarithm! 



THE POEM ON SPRING 

GREAT AH, the Sultan, I ve heard 

(Please attend to my proem!), 
Was shrewd as the serpent aye, Solon to him 
was a dunce; 

Who else could repeat every word 

Of a sermon, a poem, 

Or any old thing that was spoken before him but 
once ? 

While Eben al Hamid, his short 

Ethiopic attendant 

And factum factotum, they say could repeat in a 
trice 

The plea of a lawyer in court 

For a guilty defendant, 

Or President s Message (perhaps), if he heard it 
but twice. 

Whenever a bard would intone 
An original sonnet 

[42] 



(For Sultans, you know, are the prey of the metri 
cal bore), 

"That s ancient," the Ruler would groan, 

As Mehitable s bonnet! 

Now listen, and see for yourself that I ve heard it 
before." 

Whereat he would echo each phrase 

With precision emphatic; 

And Eben, in turn, would repeat, never missing a 
rhyme; 

The poet would slink in a daze 

To his sorrowful attic, 

While Eben and Ali would laugh for a week at a 
time. 

Then Ali proclaimed in his pride: 

"For reward I will measure 
The weight of that poem in gold which is proved 
to be new." 

And many a balladist tried 

For that fistful of treasure; 

But penniless, puzzled, and shamed every singer 
withdrew. 

[43] 



At length came a minstrel of guile 

(From the West, so I fear me); 
He tinkled his merry guitar and addressed him 
to sing: 

"Your Highness," quoth he with a smile, 

"Will it please ye to hear me? 
I ve something that s Purely Unique tis a Poem 
on Spring. 

"A Genuine Triumph of Mind 

That is urgently needed 

By seventeen best magazines. Have I leave to 
begin?" 

"Proceed," sighed the Sultan, resigned; 

And the Minstrel proceeded 
To startle the court with this Chant of Original Sin: 

" Tis Spring on the lily-white leas 

Of the Forest of Arden! 

Tis Spring! and the blossoms appear and the 
leveret plays; 

The butterflies drift on the breeze 

To the elf-haunted garden; 

The birdies of meadow and grove are rehearsing 
their lays. 

[44] 



" Bo-peep! Hullychee! sings the Flick; 

Korry-boo! moans the Chitter; 
Quee-boggle-chee-pilli-moran! sobs the Killi- 
koloo. 

* Ping-pong ! Watchi-toodle-kerwick ! 

All the Merimees twitter. 
The Niblick avers, Kalli-bosh, taradiddle, koroo. 5 

" Go-dum, bally-hoosh P is the note 

Of the Icthyosaurus. 

Notorum-dorando ! the blithe Hippocampus re 
plies; 

Chim-chim-orizaba-pelote ! 

Rings the jubilant chorus 
Of sweet Pterodactyls that wing the cerulean skies. 

" The Kiddle observes to his mate, 

Borum-ago-majellum, 

Elan, rododacktylos bree. While the somnolent 
Bruff 

Ascends to the heavenly gate 
Chanting, Ho! Parabellum 

Enteuthen " "Help! Stop! Oh, my head!" 

cried the Sultan; "Enough! 
[45] 



"I ve echoed queer words, I admit, 
All your brotherhood downing; 
But who could repeat these uncivilized sounds you 
have made! 

Your poem should make quite a hit 

With the students of Browning 
So bring in your Manuscript, friend, and the gold 
shall be weighed." 

The Poet went forth, and returned 

With his holiday sash on, 

Propelling a cart with a load of the heaviest brick 
On which he had graven and burned, 

Babylonian fashion, 

The "words" of his poem! a mean, reprehen 
sible trick! 

The Sultan, demurring, tis true, 
Made an end by bestowing 

The weight of that poem in gold, a prodigious 
expense. 

And this have I sung unto you 
For the purpose of showing 

That even Spring Poets may manifest hard common 
sense! 

[46] 



TRUE SPRING 

WHAT, spring, because a day is fair, 

Because a brook is flowing, 
Because a maple here and there 

A flash of red is showing, 

Because the frost has lost a tooth, 
And ice-packs jar and splinter? 

You call it "spring" because, forsooth, 
It simply isn t winter! 

No, spring has gladder signs than these; 

I ll know that spring is coming 
When lilacs blow, when velvet bees 

In apple-boughs are humming, 

When softer shadows fall aslant 
The fragrant meadow mazes: 

I ll call it spring when I can plant 
One foot on seven daisies. 

[47] 



AN ADIRONDACK IDYLL 

TWAS August; all the Verdant Vales 
With Marigolds were decked; 

The Groves were loud with Nightingales- 
Or Birds to That Effect; 

And Squirrels frolicked High and Low 

While, from the Waters dim 
Ambitious Troutlets leaped, to show 

That they were in the Swim. 

The Owl observed to Bashful Doves, 

Too shy to bill and coo, 
"Now, don t mind me, my Little Loves, 

Proceed: To wit, to woo." 

Beneath the Birch, beneath the Spruce, 

Perchance beneath the Pine, 
A Maiden walked, a Fair Recluse, 

The lovely Angeline. 

[48] 



The Daughter of a Mountain Guide, 
She dwelt beside the Mere; 

An Orphan since her Father died 
Mistaken for a Deer. 

So, honoring in Memorie 

Her Late Pro-gen-i-tor, 
She idolized the Deer that he 

Had been Mistaken For. 

The Pretty Pet she often fed 

With Caramels or Grass, 
And Much the Antlered Quadruped 

Esteemed the Forest Lass. 

To her upon the Woodland Way 
With Pleadings New and Strange 

A Ranger came their Wedding-Day 
He begged her to Arrange. 

But, oh! the Scornful Maiden gave 

Her Answer brief and tart: 
"My Deer, whom Father died to save, 

Possesses all my Heart!" 

[49] 



A Horrid Oath that Ranger took! 

(He swore beneath his Breath). 
"A Rival shall I tamely brook? 

Morbleu! Carr-rramba! sdeath! 

"Her Dear ! Gadzooks, I know the Man! 

That lovelorn Guide shall die!" 
And home the Ranger stalked, to plan 

His Crime and Alibi. 

That Night he watched beside her Cot; 
The Bushes cracked and swayed; 

Out rang the Deadly Rifle Shot! 
Out rushed the Woeful Maid! 

"Ah, Wasteful Hunter!" rose her Wails, 

"To slay this Deer of mine, 
All Out of Season, which entails 

A Hundred-Dollar Fine!" 

"Not so, not so, my Love, my Fair," 

The Ranger straight replied, 
"For I (as Witnesses shall swear) 

Mistook him for a Guide! 



"Since I Mistook him for a Guide, 
Miss, take me for your Dear!" 

The Maiden blushed, the Maiden sighed, 
The Maiden deigned to hear. 

And when upon the Pair the Priest 

Had said his Ben-i-son, 
I grieve to say, their Wedding Feast 

Was mainly Ven-i-son! 



[51] 



A BUNGALOW 

BY all the winds of Summer-time! I ll seek the 

nymph again 
Who wakes the grass between the stones to move 

the hearts of men, 

Who blows a playful kiss or two of dandelion- 
down, 

And sends the gipsy butterfly to lure a lad from 
town. 

I m going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang bungalow, 

A creeper-curtained bungalow, where hemlocks 
idly dream. 

Fm going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang .bungalow, 

A cedar-shingled bungalow beside a mountain 
stream. 

The beams shall be of maple wood, the floors of 
healthful pine; 

[5*1 



The spruce, with rough and resined bark, shall 

wall this house of mine; 
While round about, of ample breadth, a rustic 

porch shall run 

Below a birchen canopy against the checkered sun. 
I m going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang bungalow, 

A forest-fragrant bungalow with room for three 
or four. 

I m going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang bungalow, 

A zephyr-haunted bungalow beside a rippled 
shore. 

With every quick-eyed featherling that loves the 
friendly wood, 

With all the gentle furry folk I ll dwell in brother 
hood. 

My castle roof shall bear the proof of crystal- 
arrowed rain, 

And Peace shall be my seneschal, and Love my 
chatelaine. 

I m going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang bungalow, 

[53] 



An open-hearted bungalow devoid of bolts and 
bars. 

I m going to build a bungalow, 
A bing-bang bungalow, 

A tranquil little bungalow to rest beneath the 
stars. 



[54] 



DORLAN S HOME-WALK 

THE ninth; last half; the score was tied, 
The Hour was big with Fate, 

For Neal had fanned and Kling had flied 
When Dorian toed the plate. 

And every rooter drew a breath 

And rose from where he sat, 
For Weal or Woe, or Life or Death 

Now hung on Dorian s bat. 

The Pitcher scowled; the Pitcher flung 

An inshoot, swift and queer; 
But Dorian whirled his wagon-tongue 

And smote the leathern sphere. 

He smote the ball with might and main, 

He drove it long and low, 
And firstward like a railway train 

He sped to beat the throw. 
5 [SSl 



He reached first base with time to spare 
(The throw went high and wide), 

But what a tumult rent the air 
When "Safe!" the Umpire cried. 

"What!" shrieked the Pitcher, lean and tall, 
"What!" roared the Catcher stout, 

"Wha-at!" yelled the Basemen one and all, 
"Ye re off! the man is out!" 

The Shortstop swore, the Catcher pled, 

They waved their arms around. 
The Umpire shook his bullet-head 

And sternly held his ground, 

Though in the wild-eyed Fielders ran 

To tear him limb from limb 
Or else to tell that erring man 

Just what they thought of him. 

The Basemen left the bases clear 
And came to urge their case; 

So Dorian yawned and scratched his ear 
And strolled to second base. 

[56] 



"Safe? Safe?" the Pitcher hissed, "Ye re blind!" 

And breathed a Naughty Word; 
While Dorian hitched his belt behind 

And rambled on to third. 

And throats were hoarse and words ran high 
And lips were flecked with foam, 

As Dorian scanned the azure sky 
And ambled on toward home. 

And still he heard in dreamy bliss, 

As down the line he came, 
The Umpire growl, "Enough o this! 

He s safe. Now play the game!" 

"All right. Come, boys," the Pitcher bawled; 

"Two out; now make it three!" 
When Dorian touched the plate and drawled, 

"Hey! score that run fer me!" 

What wrath was there, what bitter talk, 

What joy and wild acclaim! 
For Dorian s peaceful homeward walk 

Had won the doubtful game. 

[57] 



Aye, thus the game was lost and won; 

So, Athletes, great and small, 
If like mischance ye fain would shun 

Keep cool, don t kick, play ball. 



[58] 



BASEBALL IN DE PARK 

THE Captain of the Neversweats was rooted in 
his place, 

One foot upon the tattered coat that served for 
second base; 

His ashen-hued habiliments were padded, hip 
and knee 

(The Captain of the Neversweats was all of three- 
foot-three) ; 

A mighty mitt incased his paw; he spat upon 
the same 

And chirped, with shouted interludes, the Story 
of the Game: 

Twas Sattid y, a week ago, we played de Busy 

Bees; 
Dey rung a borrered pitcher in, an say! he wuz 

de cheese! 
De way he handed pretzels out wuz putty near a 

crime; 

[59] 



He chucked dis curly inshoot-drop dat fools ye 

ev ry time. 
He d held us down to forty hits, an* t ings wuz 

lookin blue, 
Fer dey had fifty-seven runs, while we had t irty- 

two. 
He d held us down to forty hits, an* runs wuz 

mighty rare; 
But in de nint we sized im up an* pasted im 

fer fair. 



"Foist, Dumpy Collins found his coives an* 

knocked a corkin fly; 
Den Limpy picked a cracker jack an smashed it 

in de eye; 
Den Skeezicks hit de ball a swipe dat lifted off 

de lid; 
An* Carrots ran de bags fer home, an* cricky! 

how he slid! 
Dem Bees wuz stiffs! dey couldn t t row, dey 

couldn t ketch at all, 
While we wuz playin fer our lives we couldn t 

miss de ball. 

[60] 



"An did we win? Well, did we! Say! Dey 
didn t git a smell. 

We chased each udder roun de bags twuz 
like de carrousel. 

Why, w en we put de las man out an added up 
de score 

Dey hadn t only eighty runs, an we had ninety- 
four! 

What! Lick dese lobsters? Sure we kin, at 
any time o year! 

Jes watch; we ll show ye how it s done. Hi, 
Cully! put er here!" 



[61] 



A NEW MEXICAN BO-PEEP 

NEAR the Llano Estacado 

Famed for deeds of wild bravado, 

Winsome Maraquita Fancher, 
Orphan child of Bill the rancher, 

Led her flock of frisky muttons, 
Fed the pretty woolly gluttons 

Lamb and wether, ewe and chilver, 1 
Clothed in fleeces bright as silver. 

There she rambled, much respected, 
Free as air and well protected 

By her ram, a big Merino, 
Widely known as "Filippino." 

^irst appearance of the only rhyme for " silver " in cap 
tivity 1 

[62] 



Wise he was; the world had schooled him; 
Human nature "never fooled him. 

Maraquita, most acutely, 

Took his judgments ab-so-lutely. 

Cesar Gil, a swart vaquero, 
Quite the gallant caballero 

(Though his legs were slightly bandy), 
Rode across the Rio Grande, 

Came a-courting Maraquita, 
Praising her as "muy bonita!" 

Humbly bowing, sweetly sighing 
False, false vows of love undying. 

Filippino left his grazing, 

Turned and viewed the scene amazing; 

Charged! and, headlong hurtling, fairly 
Met the Issue full and squarely. 



Cesar Gil, the dusky dandy, 
Soared across the Rio Grande, 

Rolling resonant " carr-rrambas !" 
Still pursued by mocking lamb-baas. 

So it chanced with other wooers 
(False deceivers, base pursuers) 

Claude Dulane the turquoise-digger, 
Faro Pete the thimble-rigger, 

Denbigh Booth the tragic mummer, 
Curtis Sharpe the hardware drummer, 

Ellis Farnham Walsh of Reno, 
Came and fled from Filippino. 

Now appeared a Handsome Stranger, 
Rollo Jones, the Texas Ranger^ 

Bringing lots of love a heartful! 
Brave and true, but gently artful. 



First he talked to Filippino, 
Talked of poker, whist, and keno, 

Cattle, crime, and politicians, 
Calming down the Ram s suspicions. 

4 

Next, as though to serenade him, 
Lively, tuneful airs he played him, 

Ragtime lilt and light fandango; 
Showed him how they dance the tango. 

Then he brought, with perfect breeding, 
Little gifts of dainty feeding 

(Since the grass was growing sparsely) 
Carrots, turnips, beets, and parsley. 

Thus the Ranger, true and clever, 
Made that Ram his friend for ever. 

Well, the rest was bound to follow: 
Filippino, leading Rollo, 



Trotted up to Maraquita. 

Jones now calls her "mi lindita" 

Or he did, as I remember, 

When I saw them, last November, 

Eating prime Thanksgiving turkey 
At their home in Albuquerque. 



[66] 



THE MEXICAN HAMMOCK 

TWAS richly vermilion and flagrantly yellow 

When brought from the region of sunlit plateaus, 
But, softened by service and restfully mellow, 

It swings in the grove where the rivulet flows. 
Its ring-bolts are tarnished, its spreaders unvar 
nished; 

It sags at an angle of forty degrees; 
With reedles of balsam its meshes are garnished 

The Mexican Hammock that hangs from the 
trees. 

The Mexican Hammock, 
The grass-woven Hammock, 
The trusty old Hammock 
That droops from the trees. 

When, sick of the city s perpetual riot, 

I come for the healing that Silence bestows, 



Overshadowed by green-tasseled curtains of quiet, 

It offers a bounteous depth of repose. 
So softly allaying and balmily swaying, 

It woos with its motion the health-laden breeze 
That soon down the River of Dreams I am stray 
ing, 

Adrift in the Hammock that hangs from the 
trees. 

The Mexican Hammock, 
The grass-woven Hammock, 
The friendly old Hammock 
That droops from the trees. 

Now crickets are hymning the Night for her 

guerdon; 

The dewdrops have solaced the half-opened rose. 
How deeply it bends with a generous burden! 

How sweet are the secrets that nobody knows! 
The words that reveal them, the tokens that 

seal them, 

The whispers more soft than the murmur of 
bees 

[68] 



The bird? shall not learn them, the winds may 

not steal them 

Away from the Hammock that hangs from the 
trees. 

The crafty old Hammock, 
The blessed old Hammock, 
The match-making Hammock 
That droops from the trees. 



A LAY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY 

THE world went well; the heavens smiled, com 
placent, 
On Massachusetts Bay and parts adjacent; 

The Savages, arrayed in skins of beavers, 
Had been removed by providential fevers; 

The fields were flourishing, and e en the bearish 
Allowed that trade and fisheries were fairish; 

The Williamses, the Hutchinsons, the Quakers 
And other contumacious trouble-makers, 

Convinced by potent arguments, had vanished 
(Imprisoned, whipped at cart-tail, hanged or 
banished), 

When Parson Bondish, strong in exhortation, 
Arose to edify the congregation, 

[70] 



Beginning (not in total self-effacement) 
With some few words of personal abasement. 

"Dear Brothers/ quoth the Preacher, "in all 

meekness 
I come, a child of wrath and sin and weakness " 

"Amen! that s true!" intoned a rash invader, 
Defiance Cock, the surly Indian trader. 

"Yea, here I stand," resumed the scowling 

Preacher, 
"A Thing of Naught, a miserable creature " 

"Aye," growled the Trader, "ye were born and 

bred so; 
Tis true as Gospel even if ye said so." 

"A Worm am I!" the Parson thundered, banging 
His oaken desk "A Wretch too bad for hanging!" 

"Correct," cried Cock, despite impending fury, 
"As I will gladly prove before a jury." 
6 [71] 



Good Bondish clenched both fists; a stout crusader, 
He braved Defiance Cock, the Indian trader. 

"When I," he blared, "self-humbled, would have 

cleared me 
Of Pride of Flesh, thou venturest to beard me? 

"I own my faults, I hope to rise above them 
But no one else shall dare to tell me of them!" 

Whereat, the Parson rapidly descended 
And then and there the controversy ended, 

Stern Bondish preaching hours, unrelenting, 
At Cock within the pillory, repenting. 

And this is why I dare not tell my story 
For Boston might not think it laudatory; 

And why I ll ever strive to be complacent 
Toward Massachusetts Bay and parts adjacent. 



THE PILGRIMS THANKSGIVING FEAST 

THE Pilgrims landed, worthy men, 

And, saved from wreck on raging seas, 

They fell upon their knees, and then 
Upon the Aborigines. 

In thankfulness they planned a feast 

On all the country might afford. 
(The grace consumed an hour at least, 

Whence rose the phrase, "The festive bored.") 

And some through groves of pine and oak 

Pursued the doe; and even so 
All patriotic Yankee folk 

Unceasingly pursue the dough. 

They bearded bruin in his lair 

Or stalked the stag in forests drear. 

Alas! their festal dish was bear, 
Or venison though that was deer. 

[73] 



Still, native viands pleased them most 
The native maize, for that was new; 

They ate the native boiled and roast 
And even ate the native stew! 



(74 



THE WISHBONE 

ANOTHER fowl had gone the way 
That turkeys go, Thanksgiving Day; 

In ruins lay the pumpkin pie, 
The foaming cider-jug was dry. 

The merry guests had left their chairs, 
The old in groups, the young in pairs, 

And Mark and Prue (if one might look) 
Were safe within the ingle-nook. 

And Mark and Prue agreed to break 
A wishbone, just for friendship s sake 

A wishbone, smooth and polished bright 
As best befits the magic rite. 

Each wished a wish in undertone; 

With thumbs close-pressed they snapped the bone 

[751 



And none but Mark heard Prudence laugh 
Because she held the larger half; 

And only Prudence knew how dark 
And hopeless grew the face of Mark. 

"Why, Mark!" cried Prue; "since Time began 
Who ever saw a six-foot man 

"Become so glum and vaporish 
Because he d lost a silly wish!" 

"Yes, laugh!" groaned Mark, "for you have won I 
Pve lost all joy beneath the sun 

"And all the hope I had in life 

I wished that Prue should be my wife." 

She frowned, and then she smiled instead, 
And then she tossed her curly head 

And laughed outright, that shameless Prue, 
"Oh, never mind! I wished that, too!" 

[76] 



A TRUE BILL AGAYNST CHRISTMASSE 

I WILL not hear of Christmasse Cheer 
Nor Christmasse Bells a-ringing! 

A Christmasse Tree I loathe to see, 
I m deaf to Carol-singing. 

I will not troll ye Wassail Bowl! 

I love no strong Potations, 
Nor Yule that brings ye Gatherings 

Of Nondescript Relations. 

Forbeare to show ye Mistletoe! 

All Proper Men disdain it; 
Ye Prettie Maid wolde scorn its Aid, 

Ye Plaine One sholde not gain it. 

Give Pause, give Pause to Santa Claus! 

His Course is trulie shocking; 
I understand he has a Hande 

In Everybodie s Stocking! 

[77] 



Yet, void of Shame, they praise his Name 

In Reams of idle Verses, 
And call him kind that leaves behind 

A Trail of emptie Purses. 

Sharp Sorrows lie in Christmasse Pie 
Which treble when they heat it. 

I have no Use for Christmasse Goose 
Nor Cannibals that eat it. 

For Ills and Pills and Doctor s Bills 
Are scarce a Cause for Laughter; 

Ye Tables groan before ye Feaste, 
Ye Feasters groan thereafter. 



THE STOCKING 

I SING of Pieter Dundervelt 

In quaint New Amsterdam who dwelt 

And loved a maid in beauty s bloom 
Annette DeVries von Schlagenboom. 

Like all true lovers, more or less. 
Our Piet inclined to bashfulness, 

And when he should have pressed his suit 
Was silent, speechless, dumb, and mute. 

Twas drawing near that night of nights 
When good Saint Nicholas delights 

To ride with gifts for old and young, 
When backward Pieter found his tongue. 



Oh, will you deign, Annette," said he, 
To take a Yuletide gift from me?" 

[79] 



Annette, without a thought of ill, 
Replied, in Dutch, "Of course I will!" 

Saint Nicholas with reindeer sleigh 

Had made his rounds and gone his way, 

And fair Annette, while others slept, 
On tiptoe down the stairway crept 

Before the dawn, her only thought 

To see what gifts the Saint had brought. 

And there a marvel met her eyes! 
A stocking, not of common size, 

But six feet long and even more 

Now hung where hers had hung before, 

Beneath the kitchen mantel-shelf, 
And snug within was Piet himself! 

The situation seemed absurd; 
Annette, however, kept her word; 

That is, to make the tale complete, 
She took her gift and married Piet. 
[80] 



A BRIDGE SCANDAL 

UPON the table s cloth of green 

The Trey of Diamonds lay; 
It lured the Knave; he loved the Queen; 

For her he took the Trey. 

To him the Queen "of Diamonds said, 
"Make haste, my darling Jack, 

And fly with me!" And off they fled 
In spite of all the Pack. 

The King pursued; alert and quick, 
He slew them with his mace! 

And that s the way he turned the Trick, 
For no one held the Ace! 



[81] 



HENRY HUDSON S LOG 

WEE anchored safe in Fathoms four 

Within a Baye, and did espie 
A pleasaunt, many-peopled Shore 

With Lodges most amazing hie, 

From where some Natives, partlie tamed, 
Did come in Shallops nine or ten 

To make us Speeches these were named 
"Ye Sons-in-Lawe of Famous Men." 

Ashore wee went, and soon a Band 

Appeared, bedecked with Silver Starres, 

Which called themselves, I understand, 

"Ye Sons of Them Which Fitt in Warres." 

Another Tribe did entertaine 

Our Tars at Meat within an Halle, 

And they were hight, "Ye Noble Straine 
Of Them Which Came Here First of Alle!" 
[82! 



Their Womankind in Bevies Twain 

Did make us Cheere with Daunce and Song, 

But eyther Group in hie Disdain 
Did scorn ye other Lovelie Throng; 

Yea, each called other, " Sycophants " 

And "Upstarte Crewe!" Their Rightful Names 

Were "Nieces of Ancestral Aunts," 
And "Daughters of Maternal Dames." 

Ye "Sons of Irish Pioneers," 

Ye "Native Sons of Foreign Kynges," 

Ye "Sons of Hessian Grenadiers," 
And Sundrie Sons of Other Thynges 

About us raised a Goodlie Stir. 

A Modest Folk they seemed to mee, 
More Vaine of what their Fathers were 

Than Proud of what theirselves might bee. 

Yet more were there too Low to wear 
Grand Coats-of-Arms or courtlie Masks 

An Hoste which found no Time to spare 
But stronglie toiled at many Tasks. 
[83] 



I craved of One of Sturdie Mold, 

"What Sons bee ye?" With Merrie Face, 
"No Sons !" he cried; "in us behold 

Ye Fathers of ye Coming Race!" 



[84] 



WHITE MAGIC 

WHEN tree-toads trill and crickets chirr 
And all the marshlands faintly ring, 

A Goblin flits through plumes of fir 
Upon the wood-owl s velvet wing; 

He fills with fern-seed, brown and dry, 
His acorn pipe; when winds are whist 

He lights it with a fire-fly 
And hillward blows the evening mist. 



A PERSIAN APOLOGUE 

To Hakim Ali, famed for potent pills, 
Old Hassan came to tell his body s ills 

Began the Patient: "First, O Hakim wise, 
I note a certain dimness of the eyes " 

"A trifle!" laughed the Doctor; "I ll engage 
Tis merely a Concomitant of Age." 

"Besides," groaned Hassan, "as it seems to me, 
My hearing is not all it used to be." 

"Some little touch of deafness," quoth the Sage, 
"Is likewise a Concomitant of Age." 

"But," quavered Hassan, "Doctor, is it right 
That Wakefulness should worry me at night?" 

"Quite natural," said Ali, "at this stage; 
A usual Concomitant of Age." 
[861 



Then Hassan stormed: "Oh, quack, impostor, dolt, 
With no more learning than my donkey s colt! 

"I tell my griefs, and, like a parrot gray, 
Concomitant of Age* is all you say!" 

"Ah!" smiled the Doctor; "sudden, causeless rage 
Is likewise a Concomitant of Age." 



TACT 

THE Sultan was vexed by a dream 

that invaded his slumbers; 
(He d feasted on lobsters and cream 

with half-ripened cucumbers 
And slept with his head to the South, 

so the Night Mare had power.) 
He dreamed, all the teeth of his mouth 

tumbled out in a shower! 
So, calling a Sayer of Sooth 

to interpret the vision, 
He charged him to utter the truth 

with the utmost precision. 



"Pure Fountain of Justice, and Fear 
of the Infidel Foemen, 

The vision," propounded the Seer, 

"is of sorrowful omen; 
[88] 



For Allah, who governs this ball 

(His protection be o er you!), 

Decrees that your relatives all 

shall drop dead, right before you!" 



The Sultan leaped up in a fit 

of devouring fury! 
He stayed not to issue a writ 

or impanel a jury, 
But "Shorten this fellow !" he said, 

"and be rapid about it!" 
So off went the Soothsayer s head! 

(He looked better without it.) 



One Sage being worthless, they sent 

to the mosque for another; 
An Augur of wilier bent 

than his ill-fortuned brother. 
"Now Allah be praised for the boon!" 

cried this wisest of mages; 
"Great Lord of the Sun and the Moon! 

for the vision presages 



Long life to the King, who shall thrive 

like the fertile plantations! 

Yea, truly! my Liege shall survive 

e en his youngest relations!" 

The King, as his visage expressed, 

was rejoiced beyond measure. 
The Prophet went home with a chest 

fairly bursting with treasure. 
Which proves tis an axiom still, 

let the Blunt-spoken weigh it- 
The Tactful can say what he will, 

for he knows how to say it! 



[90] 



FAME 

"GREAT king," the poet cried, his rebec stringing, 
"Thy name shall live forever through my sing 
ing!" 

"Poor fool," the king replied, "that lie is hoary; 
Thy songs may live because they chant my 
glory!" 

So each, the sword or lyre glorifying, 

In turn proclaimed his work alone undying; 

And while their wordy warfare shook the rafter, 
Old Time stood by and held his sides for laughter! 



LOGIC 

THE Farmer was swinging his scythe with a will, 
His Donkey was turning the primitive mill; 

The Learned Logician of Lalli-Bazan 

Stood watching the labors of Donkey and Man. 

"My friend," quoth the Solver of Tangled Affairs, 
"What use is the bell that your Animal wears?" 

"Why," answered the Farmer, "it tells on the 

Brute; 
It rings while he moves, when he stops it is mute; 

"And so, though I m acres away at my work, 
I ll know if the gray-coated Scamp is a shirk." 

"Right well!" cried the Sage; "but supposing, in 
stead 

Of working, your Donkey just waggled his head: 
[92] 



"The bell would still ring like a steeple possessed, 
Yet how would you know he was taking a rest?" 

The Farmer looked hard at the Sage (it appears 
Suspecting the length of his logical ears), 

Then answered him, giving his Servant a slap, 
" This Donkey has never learned Logic! Gid-dap!" 



93 



A HINDU RIDDLE 

"WHAT fruit is good to taste when green, 
And sweet when half-matured by Time, 
Yet harsh when ripe? Declare, O Sage!" 

"That fruit is Human Life, I ween: 
So rich in Youth; in Manhood s prime 
More mellow still but dry in Age!" 



[94] 



THE IRREVERENT BRAHMIN 

A HINDU TRACT 

A BRAHMIN, fat and debonair, 
Denied the Potency of Prayer! 

"Absurd!" he scoffed, "to say that Gods 
At ease on high would stoop to Clods 

"And heed our million warring Prayers 
To regulate our small Affairs!" 

This Dogmatist of early days 
Was lost within a jungle s maze, 

Where, wildly ranging wide about 
To find a pathway leading out, 

Upon a Forest Codling s Shrine 

He chanced, o erhung with leaf and vine, 

[95] 



And wonder! horror! crouching there 
A mighty Tiger, bowed in prayer! 

(Tail curled, as may be well supposed, 
Paws folded, eyes devoutly closed). 

"Strong God," he heard the Tiger say, 
"I pray thee, send to me a Prey!" 

The trustful Tiger closed his Prayer. 
Behold! a Brahmin trembling there! 

The Brahmin never scoffed a whit. 
The Prayer had Answer #<? was It. 



[961 



BREAD 

(FROM THE HINDUSTANI) 

FOR Bread the Merchant labors long and late. 
For Bread the Beggar goes from gate to gate. 

For Bread the Sailor loses hearth and home; 
A thousand miles away, Bread-seekers roam. 

For Bread the Wild Birds fall in nets and gins. 
For Bread do Men commit a thousand sins. 

For Bread the Soldier dies in siege or fray. 
For Bread the Minstrel carols, night and day. 

For Bread Men study all that Man may know. 
The House that wanteth Bread is filled with Woe. 

Tis Bread unites the Family as one; 
Its lack divides the Father from the Son. 

For Bread are Weddings made and Sermons said; 
Of all good things, the very best is Bread. 

[97] 



THE STONE S JOKE 

ON Guernsey s Island, huge, alone, 
Before a cavern lay a Stone; 

Upon its surface carved, a screed 
In characters that none could read. 

At length a Stranger climbed the cliff, 
A Sage, in rune and hieroglyph 

Well schooled. He bent his learned head 
Above the Stone, and thus he read: 

"Come, turn me, turn me, Man of Might, 
And see what now is hid from sight!" 

They came with lever, jack, and chain; 

They heaved and hauled with might and main; 

They plied the mass with rope and crow 
To find the Treasure hid below. 
[98] 



The great Stone turned. Its mottled, pied 
And soil-discolored under side 

Another runic legend bore; 

And thus the Scholar read once more: 

"O Gentle Friend, for many a year 
On one poor side I ve languished here 

"And begged the boon for which I ve yearned 
That some one turn me. Thanks. I m turned." 



[99] 



THE BEST AND WORST NAIL IN THE ARK 

Now this is the story (and all of ye hark!) 

Of what was the Best and Worst Nail in the 

Ark: 

When Noah was building this Ark, as ye know, 
A rumble of thunder surprised him, and so 
To have the boat ready in time for the rain 
He took on a Wright of. the Children of Cain 
A terrible sinner, like all of the rest, 
And still, as a Carpenter, one of the best. 

This Person was hammering hard at the stem 
When up strolls the Patriarch, Japheth, and 

Shem; 

And what does that impudent Carpenter do 
But ask to be taken as one of the crew. 
Sez he, "I am wishful to sail in yer boat 
Along with yer Elephant, Camel, and Goat." 
But Noah he answers him, "None of yer jokes! 
Ye ll stay in the wet with the rest of yer folks!" 

[100] 



The Carpenter grinned and the Carpenter laughed; 
He watched till the Party was all of them aft, 
Then screwed up one eyebrow and twisted his lip 
And pulled a big nail from the bow of the Ship! 
He pulled out a Nail, did that Offspring of Sin, 
Which left a fine hole for the tide to creep in. 

Now, up comes the Animals, marching in pairs, 
And with them the Devil sneaks in unawares, 
They say with the Mule, for she hadn t a mate, 
And hides in the hold with the rest of the freight. 
But whist! when the waters were boiling around 
And rocking the Ark from her place on the 

ground, 

Old Noah stood up while the elements roared 
And asked a strong Blessing on all things aboard. 

Now Blessings, for cause that I needn t explain, 
Are what the old Devil can t hear without pain; 
And so the poor Devil tore wildly about 
Prospecting in vain for a place to get out, 
When what should he spy, when of reason 

bereft, 

But that one fine hole that the Carpenter left! 
[101] 



He altered his form to the shape of a Worm 
And right through that nail-hole he tried for to 

squirm; 

But, talk as they do of the Devil s own luck, 
As tight as a rivet the poor Devil stuck! 
He stuck and he stayed for the whole of the trip 
Excluding the wet from the hold of the Ship. 
The waters might heave and the waters might roll, 
But still the poor Devil kept plugging that hole 
And saving them all from the wave and the shark, 
So he was the Best and Worst Nail in the Ark! 



[102] 



WHAT THE DEVIL SAID TO NOAH 

THE world was badly scared; 

The very heavens trembled; 
The Ark was all prepared, 

The beasts were all assembled 
And driven safe within 

By Noah s sons and daughters, 
When lo! the Lord of Sin 

Appeared upon the waters; 
A gallant privateer, 

He sailed a Malay proa: 
"I think it s gwine to clear!" 

The Devil said to Noah. 

We know that things are wrong, 
We strive to make them better; 

Perhaps I write a song, 
Perhaps you write a letter, 

Perhaps we work like men 

To push a worthy movement 
8 [ 103 ] 



When up he pops again, 
That Foe to All Improvement, 

And, smiling on the Deer 
(But winking at the Boa) 

"Aw, shucks! it s gwine to clear!" 
The Devil coos to Noah. 



104] 



MIDNIGHT ALPHABET 

A is the Amiable Actress, 

The lobster-cafe s benefactress. 

B is the Bibulous Bounder 
Who likes to be classed as a rounder. 

C is the Curious Corkscrew 
The favorite tool of New York s crew. 

D is the Diligent Driver 
Who will not take less than a fiver. 

E is the Erring Elmiran 
About to be fleeced by a siren. 

F is the Fellow from Corning 
Who will not go home until morning. 

G is the Gimlet-eyed Gambler 

In wait for the night-blooming rambler. 

[105] 



H is the Hefty Housebreaker 

Disguised as a peaceable Quaker. 

I is the igh-C Italian, 

With hair a la Richard Le Gallienne; 

J is the Jollification 

His boosters will term "an Ovation." 

K is a Kelt from Killarney 

Who borrows a dollar on blarney. 

L is the Lantern-jawed Loafer 

Whom Croesus addresses as "Shoafer!" 

M is the Moonbeam so Mellow 

That shines on the girl and her fellow. 

N is the Nebulous Night-time 

By true lovers hailed as the right time. 

O is the One Osculation 

That earns them the prude s reprobation. 
[106! 



P is the Penitent s Pillow 
That feels like a hot armadillo; 

Q is his Querulous Query, 

"Oh, why did I gamble in Erie?" 

R is the Rabid Reporter 

Whose story was edited shorter. 

S is the Sinful Suggestion 

That slumber is out of the question. 

T s for the Turbulent Taxis 

That swiftly rotate on their axes. 

U is the Uniformed Usher 
Ejecting the lingering lusher. 

V is the Voice of the Victim 

Condemning the caitiff who kicked him. 

W stands for the White Way 

The Tight Way, yet scarce the Polite Way. 



X is the sum that Xpresses 
The fine for Xtatic Xcesses. 

Y is the Yelling of Yellows 

By newsboys with lungs that are bellows. 

Z is the Zebra so frisky 

Evoked by libations of whisky. 



[108 



MAINLY FEMININE 



THIS IS SHE 

ON order that must be obeyed 
I sing of a dear little maid; 

A mirthfully serious, 

Sober, delirious, 

Gently imperious 
Maid. 

And first we ll consider her eyes 
(Alike as to color and size); 

Her winkable, blinkable, 

Merrily twinkable, 

Simply unthinkable 
Eyes. 

Then, having a moment to spare, 
We turn our attention to hair; 
Her tendrilly-curlative, 
Tumbly-and-whirlative, 
Super-superlative 
Hair. 

[ml 



Forbear to dismiss with a shrug 
Her nose, undeniably pug; 

Her strictly permissible, 

Turn-up-like-thisable, 

Urgently kissable 
Pug. 

Now, moving a point to the south, 
We come to an Actual Mouth; 

A coral, pearliferous, 

Argumentiferous, 

Mainly melliferous 
Mouth. 

Observe, underneath it, a chin, 
Connoting the dimple within; 

A steady, reliable, 

Hardly defiable, 

True, undeniable 
Chin. 

By all that is fair! it appears 
We d almost forgotten her ears! 

[H2] 



Those never neglectable, 
Tinted, delectable, 
Highly respectable 
Ears! 

And last let us speak of herself, 
That blithe little gipsy and elf, 

Her quite unignorable, 

Absence-deplorable, 

Wholly adorable 
Self. 



THE LASSES O LINTON 

THE lasses o Linton ha flocked to the fair, 
Wi gowd on their bosoms an silk in their hair, 
Wi ribbons an laces sae winsomely drest, 
An each in the color that fits her the best. 

There s Meg, the fause jilt! wi her eyes on the 

groun 

Ye ll ne er fin a heart neath the corn-yellow gown. 
While Maisie, whose Robin proves faithless, puir 

lass! 
Comes clad in a kirtle as green as the grass. 

But Jeanie, my Jeanie, beloved an true, 
S all never wear aught save the heaven s ain blue; 
"For green is forsaken, an yellow s forsworn, 
But blue is the bonniest color that s worn." 



FASHION 

FAIR Eve devised a walking-suit 
Of jungle grasses, soft and crimpy; 

She thought it rather neat and cute 
Till Adam grunted, "Pretty skimpy!" 

A cloak of palm-leaves, sought for miles, 
She made, and came to be admired; 

But Adam said, "The silly styles 

You women wear just make me tired!" 

She built herself a little hat 
Of lilies (Eve was very clever), 

And asked him what he thought of that? 
And Adam blurted, "Well, I never!" 

So next she placed upon her head 
A feathered three-by-four Creation. 

The little word that Adam said 
Is barred from parlor conversation. 
[US) 



Yet Eve refused to be a dowd, 
And tied an autumn-tinted sash on. 

"I ll dress to please myself!" she vowed, 
"For what does Adam know of fashion? 

"What use to seek applause from him? 

He scoffs and says I cannot reason! 
Well, then, my law shall be my whim 

And that shall change with every season." 

Since when, revolving cycles bring 
The gayest fashions and the queerest; 

And Eve declares, "It s just the thing!" 
While Adam murmurs, "Is it, dearest?" 



[n6J 



THE WIND MAIDEN 

HER lips, like roses empearled, 
Gave forth a rill of laughter; 

She brought the joy of the world 
Of this and that hereafter. 

So free that magical art 
Alone would serve to bind her, 

She danced right into my heart 
And locked the door behind her! 



A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE 

ITS eyes are gray; 

Its hair is either brown 

Or black; 
And, strange to say, 

Its dresses button down 
The back! 

It wears a plume 

That loves to frisk around 

My ear. 
It crowds the room 

With cushions in a mound 
And queer 

Old rugs and lamps 

In corners a la Turque 

And things. 
It steals my stamps, 

And when I want to work 
It sings! 



It rides and skates 

But then it comes and fills 

My walls 
With plaques and plates 

And keeps me paying bills 
And calls. 

It s firm; and if 

I should my many woes 

Deplore, 
Twould only sniff 

And perk its little nose 
Some more. 

It s bright, though small; 

Its name, you may have guessed, 

Is "Wife." 
But, after all, 

It gives a wondrous zest 
To life! 



119] 



A WHOLE DAY! 

FIVE hundred thousand leagues, I guess, 

Our weary Earth has bowled through space; 

And fifty thousand miles, no less, 
The pallid Moon has held her race; 

The careful Clock has ticked away 

Full eighty thousand moments drear; 

So long has been the lagging Day 
Since last I saw you, Vida dear! 



[120] 



ONE FEATHER 

HER sister brought the wife a feather 
A curled, Parisian thing of beauty 

(And Uncle Sam may answer whether 
He did or did not get the duty). 

The feather had to have a hat 
To wreathe itself upon, I take it; 

For twenty dollars (cheap at that!) 

Madame O Malley deigned to make it. 

So fine a hat is simply lost 
Without a proper coat below it. 

The coat, with all its fixings, cost 
Say, ninety more at least I owe it. 

The coat was scarcely warm enough 
(A stylish cloth is rarely weighty); 

But, after all, the stole and muff 
Were hardly very dear at eighty. 
[121] 



And then a gown and shoes and things 
Here! add the bills, ye household scholars! 

That little feather plumed the wings 
Of pretty near three hundred dollars! 

A straw may break the camel s back; 

How might a feather overtax him! 
I never knew before, alack, 

The truth within that shop-worn maxim! 

Yet, oh, for all this traitor writes, 
The wealth of all the stores together 

Was never worth one smile that lights 
The dimpling face beneath the feather! 



122] 



THE COUNTRY DANCE 

TREAD of the thistledown 

Lighting on heather, 
Curls in a dancing crown 

Bursting their tether, 
Laugh of a bobolink 

Swaying on rushes, 
Breath of the meadow-pink 

Born of her blushes, 
Free as a swallow dips, 

Moving to viol-tones, 
Over the mead she trips, 

Men s hearts her stepping-stones. 



THE ORGAN-GRINDER LADY AND THE 
SCISSORS-GRINDER MAN 

HER cheeks were Roman roses, and her deep, 
Italian eyes 

Were dark as limpid Como when the moon be 
gins to rise; 

A crimson kerchief crowned the silken midnight 
of her hair; 

Her buxom little bodice was a heart-alluring 
snare; 

A laughing little, daffing little, merry gipsy queen, 

She challenged forth your pennies with her tin 
kling tambourine. 

What pocketbook resisted when her organ sang 
the woe 

Of Marguerite or Lucia, or the fun of Figaro! 

What pulse but leaped the faster at the strains 
of "Pinafore" 

And swinging, Old World waltzes that the ball 
room hears no more! 

[124] 



So, hailed by children s laughter and the pat of 

childish feet, 
The Organ-Grinder Lady came in music down 

the street. 

With trundle-wheel and trumpet and the clamor 
of his clan, 

Along the flinty pavement came the Scissors- 
Grinder Man, 

A yellow-headed laddie, and his cheeks were as 
the wine, 

His eyes as blue and dancing as the water of the 
Rhine. 

He trolled a Saxon ballad as he ground the shear 
ing steel, 

Delighting gaping urchins with the sparkles of 
the wheel; 

And pleasantly and mirthfully he bobbed his 
head, to greet 

The Organ-Grinder Lady as she halted in the street; 

Then, since there s lack of honesty in being over- 
prim, 

That Organ-Grinder Lady nodded blithely back 
at him. 



He set his wheel a-humming, by the way of sere 
nade; 

She let her organ answer and the "Wedding 
March" it played! 

Belike a roll of magic ran around the music-reel; 
Perchance the dainty bodice caught a sparkle 

from the wheel; 
For, when the streets were twinkling with the 

lights of eventide, 
The organ and the trundle-wheel rolled slowly, 

side by side, 
Until, along the river where the great ships come 

to land, 
The Lady and the Laddie watched the starlight, 

hand in hand. 
And now in wedding-jacket and a black and 

scarlet gown, 
They trudge their rounds together through the 

mazes of the town. 
She makes his toil the lighter with the organ s 

mellow peal; 
He makes the street the brighter with the sparkles 

of the wheel; 

[!26] 



And thus they give each other and their world 

the best they can 
The Organ-Grinder Lady and the Scissors-Grinder 

Man. 



A GREEK SONG 

IT was not I that dared betray 

What none should know but you and me; 
The moon beheld from heaven s way 

And told the tale to all the sea. 

The ripples laughed in elvish joy 

And told the oar-blade, water-pearled; 

The oar-blade told the fisher-boy, 
Who sang our love to all the world! 



THE GROCERY BOY 

Now what should I do when the Grocery Boy 
Is knockin an* whistlin an 5 calling "Ahoy!" 
An me with both hands of me covered with suds 
A-cleanin the panes in me oldest of duds! 
" Come down !" sez he, laughin . Sez I, " Ye can wait ! 
An* what are ye meanin by comin so late?" 
"Ah, come!" sez he, coaxin ; "I tell ye no lies, 
But all the pertaties have tears in their eyes 
Because of the coldness of maids in these parts. 
The onions are breakin* their poor little hearts; 
The beans an the leeks an the parsley are green 
With longin for some one ye know whom I mean; 
An see the young radishes blushin all red, 
An look how the cabbage is hangin its head! 
Then don t ye be haughty an don t ye be cruel, 
But open the gate, now, an take them, me jewel!" 

Now what would ye do with a saucy young limb 
Of a Grocery Boy that can blarney like him? 



A SONG FOR SILVIUS 

THE Pleiads are six and the planets are eight, 
But one little star is the Pole of my fate. 

Five continents broaden and seven seas foam, 
But only one spot in creation is Home. 

The Graces are three, while the Muses are nine; 
There s only one Phoebe, and Phoebe is mine! 



THE PASSIONATE SUBURBANITE 
TO HIS LOVE 

COMMUTE with me, Love, and be merry; 

How vain in the City to dwell 
When apple-trees blow in Dobbs Ferry 

And lilacs adorn New Rochelle! 
White Plains is the Garden of Allah 

And Pelham s the Pearl of the Sea; 
There s bliss in the name of Valhalla 

Oh, fly to the Suburbs with me! 

Then won t you commute on my family ticket? 
To Westchester County we ll flee. 

Delightful Westchester, 

What place is sequester! 
Oh, won t you commute, Love, with me? 

I ll pluck you the earliest crocus 

In Orange or Englewood fair; 
We ll sport on the meads of Hohokus, 

We ll ramble through Cultured Montclair; 
[131] 



We ll rest in Exclusive Tuxedo, 

Or Nutley, for artists renowned, 
And still shall I carol my credo, 

"The Suburbs are Paradise Found." 

Then won t you commute on my family ticket? 
Perhaps you prefer New Jersee , 

For who could grow weary 

Of life on the Erie! 
Then won t you commute, Love, with me? 

The Isle twixt the Sound and the Ocean 

Ah, has it no Message for you? 
I cannot but think with emotion 

Of Flushing, Jamaica, and Kew, 
Of Bayshore of youthful vacations, 

Of Little Neck, Great Neck, and Quogue 
And all of the other Clam Stations 

Including Speonk and Patchogue. 

Then come take a trip on my family ticket 
Where Long Island breezes blow free. 

To live on the Subway 

Is surely a dub way, 
Then fly to the Suburbs with me! 



OUR SUBURB 

OUR Garden Spot is always bright and pretty 

(Of course it s rather soggy when it rains), 
And only thirty minutes from the city 

(Of course you have to catch the proper 

trains). 

We re through with Grasping Landlords, rents, 
and leases 

(Of course there s still a mortgage debt to 

pay). 
At last we know what True Domestic Peace is 

(Of course you can t compel a cook to stay). 
Our Little Home is always nice and cozy 

(Of course the furnace needs a lot of care). 
The country keeps the children fresh and rosy 

(Of course the schools are only middling fair). 
The Country Club is glorious on Sunday 

(Of course it s overcrowded now and then). 
We see a play on Broadway every Monday 

(Of course we have to leave at half past ten). 



It s lovely having grass and trees and flowers 
(Of course, at times, mosquitoes are a pest), 

Yes, life is life out here in Rangeley Towers 
(Of course Some People like the city best)! 



[134] 



LOVERS LANE 

IT goes beneath a checkered arch 
Of leaf and sunlight, oak and larch; 
Athwart a mead of meadow-sweet, 
A field of lily-bordered wheat; 
Through groves of bridal birch it turns, 
And mossy hollows, deep in ferns; 
Then up a hill and down a glen, 
From Nowhere out and back again; 
And many feet have worn it plain 
That errant way of Lovers Lane. 

There, unafraid, the wood-folk play; 
There wanton briers dip and sway 
To catch and keep whatever comes 
And make much work for clumsy thumbs 
Of loosing tress and lacing shoe 
Such tasks as lovers love to do. 
Of tales there told with eye or tongue 
I need not tell if ye were young 
10 [135] 



Nor yet of castles reared in Spain 
By architects of Lovers Lane. 

If Lovers Lane ye wander through, 
That roadway s rule is "two by two," 
Although the path is wondrous strait; 
For here s a hedge, and there s a gate, 
A brook, a stile, a quaking moss, 
The strong must help the weak to cross; 
Then, deep in shade ere set of sun, 
Its dells are never safe for one 
Still (must the sorry truth be known?) 
In Lovers Lane I walk alone! 



TWIST-RHYME ON WOMEN 

SOME women walk in hobble skirts 
While others sew and cobble shirts. 

Equipped with pan for cake, and book, 
The prudent learn to bake and cook; 

Though many, seaward hurling care, 
Devote their time to curling hair. 

Yet all, though coyly seeming chill, 
For simple youths are scheming ill; 

With every eye-glance mangling ten, 
They weave their webs for tangling men. 



[137] 



A VALENTINE 

BEFORE your gate from dawn to late 

The cheery postman whistles; 
And every mail augments the tale 

Of amorous epistles 

That jingle "heart" with "part" and "dart, 5 

Nor fail to mention Cupid; 
That rhyme "above" and "love" and "dove 3 

And other things as stupid. 

I pray you, spurn those lines that burn, 

Despite their foolish pleading. 
To flame consign each Valentine 

Except the one you re reading. 

And scorn the host that sent per post 
Those missives, poor and shoddy. 

"They love you, too?" Of course they do! 
For so does everybody! 



But, just as sure as snows are pure 
And shoes are made of leather, 

I do adore and love you more 
Than all the rest together! 



139 



A BILL FROM CUPID 

THIS Day of good Saint Valentine, 
Chateau de Psyche, 

Spain. 

Miss Arabella Lovibond, 600 Lovers Lane, 
For Merchandise detailed below, to Daniel Cupid, 

Debtor: 
To 7,000 Compliments, conveyed per Tongue or 

Letter; 

To 50 Cases Deathless Love, expressed per Burn 
ing Sighs; 
To 20 Cases (like above), expressed per Melting 

Eyes; 
To 1 8 dozen Fervent Vows, despatched per mail 

or spoken; 

To 1 8 dozen Flaming Hearts, irreparably broken; 
To Passage 6 Despairing Swains en route to 

Foreign Parts; 
To 14 Arrows, snapped and spoiled on 14 Flinty 

Hearts; 



To 15 Locks of Human Hair (black, yellow, 

brown, and sandy); 

To 37 hundredweight of Tributary Candy; 
To 40 Rides in Runabouts and 90 Auto Spins; 
To 8 Disused Engagement Rings and 19 College 

Pins; 

To 60 Bales of Violets and Roses (out of season) ; 
Oh, well, for these and other things beyond all 

Rhyme and Reason, 
Please pay, to Francis Happychap, my Agent, on 

Demand, 
In Settlement of Claims, in full: I Vow, I Heart, 

I Hand. 



[141] 



THE RAG DOLLY S VALENTINE 

THOUGH others think I stare with eyes unseeing, 
I ve loved you, Mistress mine, so dear to me, 
With all my fervent rag-and-sawdust being 
Since first you took me from the Christmas 

Tree. 
I love you though my only frock you tear ofF; 

I love you though you smear my face at meals; 
I love you though you ve washed my painted 

hair off; 

I love you when you drag me by the heels; 
I love you though you ve sewed three buttons on 

me, 
But most I love you when you sit upon me. 

No jealous pang shall mar my pure affection; 
For, while tis true your heart I m forced to 

share 

With that Wax Doll of pink-and-white complexion, 

The Pussy Cat, the Lamb and Teddy Bear, 

[142] 



Tis mine alone, whate er the time or place is> 
To know your every grief and each delight; 

I feel your childish wrath and warm embraces, 
I share your little pillow every night. 

And so, without another why or whether, 

I ll love you while my stitches hold together! 



[143] 



ARCHITECTURAL 

FM only a Gargoyle attached to a church, 
As ugly a Gargoyle as ever was known; 

I lean from my Gothic, aerial perch 
To gaze on that glorious vision in stone, 

The fair Caryatid just over the street 
Enthroned on a pillar of porphyry red, 

So mild of demeanor, so patient and sweet, 
Though seventeen stories are heaped on her head ! 

I envy the wind that may speak to my love, 
The raindrop that plashes her cheek like a tear, 

The cobweb that covers her hand like a glove, 
The sparrow that builds in the curve of her ear. 

I would I might woo her with passionate rhymes; 

But here is my duty, and here must I stay 
To guard the high steeple s reverberant chimes 

And frighten all frolicsome goblins away. 

[144] 



A BOY AND A PUP 

THE Boy wears a grin, 
A scratch on his chin, 
A wind-rumpled thatch, 
A visible patch, 
A cheek like a rose, 
A frecklesome nose. 

The Pup, though he may 
Be tawny as hay, 
Is blithe as a song; 
He gambols along 
And waves to each friend 
A wagglesome end. 

With whistle and bark 
They re off for a lark; 
According to whim, 
A hunt or a swim, 
A tramp or a run 
Or any old fun. 

[us] 



They don t care a jot 
If school keeps or not, 
When anything s up, 
The Boy and the Pup,- 
That duo of joy, 
A Pup and a Boy! 



[146] 



ON CHERUBS 

TRUE Cherubs never run in Debt 
Because of Clothes and Things, 

For, like some Chickens I have met, 
They re built of Heads and Wings. 

And Scientific Pens and Tongues 

Have made it very clear 
That Cherubs, since they can t have Lungs 

Must always Sing by Ear. 

But none of them, tis understood, 

Will play a Naughty Prank; 
And this is good, because they would 

Be Difficult to Spank. 



CHUMS 

You see, we three, 
Fred, Joe, and me, 

Is chums. 
When I "hullo!" 
To Fred and Joe 

They comes. 

Most every day 
We go and play 

Somewheres. 
If I ve a bun 
And they has none, 

We shares. 

We all can slide; 
And Fred can ride 

And swim, 
And make a kite! 
I think a sight 

Of him, 
[148] 



And Joey, too; 
He helps us do 

Our sums; 
Because, you see, 
Joe, Fred, and me 

Is chums. 



149 



A STRIKE IN FAIRYLAND 

THERE S terrible trouble in Fairyland, 

I hear from a humming-bird fresh from the border, 

The impudent sprites of that airy strand 
Refusing to follow the good old order. 

The elves have deserted both field and glade 
"So tired of tending the thankless flowers!" 

The gnomes have abandoned the pick and spade, 
Demanding more wages and shorter hours. 

The nixes and mermaids have swum ashore; 
"The waters are damp, chill, and uninviting." 

The witches will dwell in the woods no more; 
Apartments they want, with electric lighting. 

The monarchs are throwing their scepters down; 
"It s wearisome work, this eternal reigning!" 

The queens push their honey aside, and frown, 
And all through the palaces there s complaining. 

[150] 



The royal-born youths of the golden clime 
Play football and hockey, and each professes 

The utmost aversion to wasting time 
In rescuing maidens with golden tresses. 

And the maidens deplorable taste evince; 

Her nose in the air, each vows, defiant, 
That sooner than mate with a stupid prince 

She d marry an ogre or lovely giant! 

While the dragon roars from his gloomy hall 
(And, oh, it isn t a theme for laughter!): 

"I ve swallowed the princess, crown and all, 
And I m to "live happily ever after. " 



ii [151] 



HOUSE BLESSING 

STAND firm, gray Rock! 

Tough-weathered Beams, hold fast! 
Stanch Walls, proud Roof, 

Repel the warring Blast! 
Glow warm, deep Hearth, 

Against the Winter s Chill; 
Clear Flame of Love, 

Burn brighter, warmer still! 



152] 



CLEVER ANIMALS 



WHY TIGERS CANT CLIMB 

THE tale is of the Tiger and his Aunt, who is the 

Cat: 
They dwelt among the jungles in the shade of 

Ararat. 

The Cat was very clever, but the Tiger, he was slow; 
He couldn t catch the Nilghau nor the heavy 

Buffalo; 
His claws were long and pointed, but his wit was 

short and blunt; 
He begged his Wise Relation to instruct him how 

to hunt. 

The Cat on velvet pattens stole along the quiet hill: 

"Now this," she whispered, "Nephew, is the way 
to stalk your Kill." 

The Cat drew up her haunches on the mossy for 
est couch: 

"And this," she said, "my Nephew, is the proper 
way to crouch." 



She hurtled through the shadows like a missile 

from a sling: 
"And that, my loving Nephew, is the only way 

to spring!" 



Oh, hungry was the Nephew, and the Aunt was 
sleek and plump; 

The Tiger at his Teacher made his first appren 
tice Jump; 

He did it very ably, but the Cat, more quick 
than he, 

Escaped his clutching talons and ran up a cedar- 
tree, 

And purred upon the Snarler from the bough on 
which she sat, 

"How glad I am, my Nephew, that I didn t teach 
you that!" 

And, since that Curtailed Lesson in the Rudiments 
of Crime, 

The most ambitious Tiger hasn t learned the 
way to climb. 



156] 



PIGEON ENGLISH 

WHERE beeches shade the pasture gate, 

When nights grow short and days grow long, 

The wood-dove woos his modest mate, 
And this is all his wooing song: 

" Curr-a-hoo, curr-a-hoo ! 

You love me and I love you." 

But wedded life is full of care. 

Through all the sunny afternoon 
They vainly strive, that shiftless pair, 

To build their nest, while thus they croon: 

"Coo-pe-coo! Coo-pe-coo! 
Two sticks across, and a little bit of moss, 
And that will have to do, do, do!" 

When last I wandered down the lane 
The little mother, all intent 

[157] 



To feed her greedy nestlings twain, 
Was pouring forth a sad lament: 

"Coo-a-roo! What shall I do? 
I cannot feed my hungry Two, 
Though the little red Wren 
Can bring up ten 
And rear them all like gentlemen!" 



THE MINA-BIRD 

THERE lives a little Mina on the hills of Hindustan, 
The most conceited Mina of his most conceited clan. 

A cowry-shell he treasures, for a cowry may be 

spent 
As money; in the market it s a hundredth of a cent. 

"I m rich!" the Mina caroled just as loud as he 

could sing; 
"I m richer than the Rajah!" (And a Rajah is 

a king!) 

The Rajah was offended by this most insulting lay; 
He ordered out his Army and they took the shell 
away. 

"The Rajah must be hungry!" sang the Mina; 

"don t you see? 

The Rajah took my cowry, for the Rajah envied me !" 
[159] 



The Rajah wasn t ready for this method of attack; 
He disciplined his Army and they gave the cowry 
back. 

"I m greater," sang the Mina, than the mightiest 

of men! 
I forced the haughty Rajah to restore my wealth 

again!" 

The Rajah sat and pondered on his gold-incrusted 

throne: 
"I think," said he, "my Councilors, we ll leave 

that Bird alone. 

"He s rather prone to boastfulness, his voice is 

void of charm, 
He lacks a Sense of Humor, but he can t do any 

harm." 

So still the Mina magnifies his grandeur every 
where; 

Which makes him very happy and the Rajah 
doesn t care. 



1 60 



THE CARDINAL-BIRD 

WHERE snow-drifts are deepest he frolics along, 
A flicker of crimson, a chirrup of song, 
My Cardinal-Bird of the frost-powdered wing, 
Composing new lyrics to whistle in Spring. 

A plump little prelate, the park is his church; 
The pulpit he loves is a cliff-sheltered birch; 
And there, in his rubicund livery dressed, 
Arranging his feathers and ruffling his crest, 

He preaches, with most unconventional glee, 
A sermon addressed to the squirrels and me, 
Commending the wisdom of those that display 
The brightest of colors when heavens are gray. 



161 



THE SMALL HOT ROBIN AND THE LARGE 
COLD WORM 

HEARKEN to a Fable of the Recent Heated 

Term 
On the Small Hot Robin and the Large Cold 

Worm: 

The Weather, you ll remember, was Indubitably 

Hot, 
Which the Bird seemed likewise, though the 

Worm did not. 

The Worm lay off and chuckled in the Trickle of 

a Well 
As he heard Folks Comments on the Great Hot 

Spell. 

The Robin kept so busy with a Multitude of 

Things 

That he made Life cooler with his Flip-flap Wings. 
[162! 



The Selfish Worm delighted in the Mercury s 

Ascent, 
But the Robin never bothered where the Darned 

Thing went. 

A-hustling for a Dinner kept his Resolution firm, 
And he looked most happy when he spied that 
Worm! 

He darted and he fluttered and he wriggled and 

he pried, 
And he felt Much Better with the Worm inside. 

So remember, when it s Torrid, that you mustn t 

fret and squirm; 
You want to go and hustle for a Large Cold Worm. 



163 



WHY MOSQUITOES STING 

WHEN Suleiman the Glorious was judge of them 

that sinned 
The frail Mosquitoes brought to him a charge 

against the Wind; 

"O mighty King! whene er we hold our harm 
less dance," said they, 

"The Wind comes down from Scanderoon and 
sweeps us all away!" 

Then Suleiman the Glorious gave word to sky 

and sea: 
"Oh, bid the gipsy Wind appear to controvert 

the plea!" 

Across the hills, across the waves, across the 

deserts blown, 
The Wind came down from Scanderoon to plead 

before the throne. 



The Wind came down from Scanderoon and bent 

the cedar mast; 
The frail Mosquitoes whirled away like chaff 

upon the blast. 

Again they strove to urge their suit before the 

palace bar; 
Again the band, like thistledown, was scattered 

wide and far. 

But yet again to Suleiman they plied the gauzy 
wing: 

"Behold!" the spiteful chorus jeered, "the jus 
tice of the King! 

"The King of Men protects by craft the Wind 

who grieves us sore; 
The Sons of Men shall pay the fine and pay it 

o er and o er!" 

And since that long-remembered day, the shrewd, 

revengeful clan 
With treble shrill and poisoned bill have wreaked 

their wrath on Man. 

[165] 



THE BEE 

LITTLE chemic-artisan, 

Doing work no other can, 

Deep in dewy nectaries, 

Petal-walled refectories 

Apple-blossom, columbine, 

Rose and lily, all are thine, 

Yet, though oft thy weight they bear, 

Dost thou know how they are fair? 

Thine are sun and Summer breeze 

Hast thou aught of joy in these? 



Pollen-yellow dumbledore, 
Leave thy clovers tumbled o er! 
What s a lily? What s a rose? 
Down the golden lane he goes, 
Drowsing forth a prosy song, 
"Honey! Honey!" all day long, 
[166! 



Wasting life s diviner sweet, 
Hiving food for drones to eat. 
Oh, thou silly, silly bee! 
Idle here and learn of me! 



12 [l6 7 ] 



THE FIRST CAT 

THE Ark on the dark, multitudinous waters 
Was tossing; the rain in a cataract poured; 

But Noah, his Lady, their sons and their daughters 
And all the wild live stock were safely aboard. 

They weren t much seasick in spite of the weather 
And rather cramped quarters; they d food to 

suffice, 

And all things were lovely, when, squeaking to 
gether, 
There rushed from the galley a rabble of mice! 

They multiplied yes, like a warren of rabbits! 

They plundered the pantry, devoured the grain; 
And such were their simply unspeakable habits 

That poor Mrs. Noah was well-nigh insane! 

She said so in language untrammeled and forceful! 
And what might have happened, the Lord only 
knows! 

[168] 



When Noah, the kindly and ever resourceful, 
Went up to the Lion and tickled his nose. 

Then thrice sneezed the Lion! and forth from 

the feature 
His Majesty sneezed with, there leaped in a 

trice 

A silky-haired, dagger-clawed, brisk little Crea 
ture 
And woe to the ravaging legions of mice! 

In twenties, in thirties, in fifties she slew them 

Before Mrs. Noah had time to say "scat!" 
"Aha!" laughed the Skipper, who watched her 

pursue them; 

"I don t know Its name, Dear; let s call It 
A Cat!" 

So, born of a sneeze in the Rain of All Ages 
That deluged the mountain, the valley, and 
plain, 

The Cat on your hearthstone to this day presages, 
By solemnly sneezing, the coming of rain! 



THE KITTY AND THE CAT 

A HIGHLY Cultured Tiger, both carnivorous and 

nice, 
Was greatly aggravated by a horde of Rodent 

Mice 
That showed the lack of manners uninvited to 

intrude, 
And played the Very Mischief with his comfort 

and his food. 
The Tiger, for the cleansing of his Himalayan 

flat, 

Installed within the domicile a Recommended Cat 
Who chased the Sleek Marauders when they 

gathered to the feast 
(Observing due precautions not to harm them 

in the least), 
Which left the Tiger happy in his victuals and 

his sleep, 
While Pussy drew good Wages in addition to her 

Keep. 

[170] 



Now Pussy, growing weary, took a fortnight to 
recruit 

Her health, and left a Kitten as a Likely Substitute. 

But Kitty proved Ambitious, and, despite of griev 
ous wails, 

Devoured all the Rodents but their whiskers and 
their tails! 

The Highly Cultured Tiger, being highly pleased 
thereat, 

Discharged, with thanks, his Servitors, the Kitty 
and the Cat; 

And while it s rash to credit every word a person 
hears, 

They say an angry Pussy boxed a hopeful Kitty s 
ears. 

And while I ve told the legend as it runs in Hin 
dustan, 

I ve clean forgot the Moral you may find it if 
you can. 



ETIQUETTE 

THE Gossips tell a story of the Sparrow and the 
Cat, 

The Feline thin and hungry and the Bird exceeding 
fat. 

With eager, famished energy and claws of grip 
ping steel, 

Puss pounced upon the Sparrow and prepared to 
make a meal. 



The Sparrow never struggled when he found that 

he was caught 
(If somewhat slow in action he was mighty quick 

of thought), 
But chirped in simple dignity that seemed to fit 

the case, 
"No Gentleman would ever eat before he d washed 

his face!" 

[172] 



This hint about his Manners wounded Thomas 

like a knife 
(For Cats are great observers of the Niceties of 

Life); 
He paused to lick his paws, which seemed the 

Proper Thing to do, 
And, chirruping derisively, away the Sparrow flew! 

In helpless, hopeless hunger at the Sparrow on 

the bough, 
Poor Thomas glowered longingly, and vowed a 

Solemn Vow: 
"Henceforth I ll eat my dinner first, then wash 

myself!" And that s 
The Universal Etiquette for Educated Cats. 



LITTLE LOST PUP 

HE was lost! not a shade of a doubt of that; 
For he never barked at a slinking cat, 
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw 
With a drooping ear and a trembling paw 
And a mournful look in his pleading eye 
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by 
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue, 
"O Mister! please may I follow you?" 
Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin 
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in! 

Well, he won my heart (for I set great store 
On my own red Bute who is here no more), 
So I whistled clear, and he trotted up, 
And who so glad as that small lost pup? 

Now he shares my board and he owns my bed, 
And he fairly shouts when he hears my tread; 
Then, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do, 
And the world is cold and Fm feeling blue, 



He asserts his right to assuage my woes 
With a warm, red tongue and a nice, cold nose 
And a silky head on my arm or knee 
And a paw as soft as a paw can be. 

When we rove the woods for a league about 
He s as full of pranks as a school let out; 
For he romps and frisks like a three months colt, 
And he runs me down like a thunderbolt. 
Oh, the blithest of sights in the world so fair 
Is a gay little pup with his tail in the air! 



[175] 



THE AMBIGUOUS DOG 

THE Dog beneath the Cherry-tree 
Has ways that sorely puzzle me: 

Behind, he wags a friendly tail; 
Before, his Growl would turn you pale! 

His meaning isn t wholly clear 
Oh, is the Wag or Growl sincere? 

I think I d better not descend 
His Bite is at the Growly End. 



THE TALE OF TAILS 

IN Unrecorded Ages when the Minnows talked 

like Whales, 

The Very-Clever-Animals were destitute of Tails: 
The Monkey and the Possum couldn t hang 

emselves to dry, 
The Puppy couldn t waggle, nor the Heifer flap 

a fly; 
So when the Wild Geese trumpeted that Tails 

could soon be had, 
The Very-Clever-Animals were very, very glad. 

Upon the Day Appointed, when the Quadrupedal 
Rout 

Were flocking to the Trysting-Place-Where-Tails- 
Were-Given-Out, 

The Growly Bear was settling to his wonted win 
ter nap; 

He called his friend, the Rabbit, an obliging 
little chap, 

[177] 



And pledged him by the Whiskers of the Great 

Ancestral Hare 
To fetch a fitting Tail-piece for a Self-respecting 

Bear. 

But where the Tails were given, there was such 

a dreadful crush 
A mingled game of football and a bargain-counter 

rush 
That Bunny, hopping wildly for his own Desired 

End, 
Forgot his Solemn Promise to his sleepy-headed 

friend ! 

The Rabbit was returning to his Merry Native Vale, 
Rejoicing in the flourish of a lovely, furry Tail, 
When, rapidly descending from his Rocky Moun 
tain Lair, 
He saw the massive figure of his friend, the Growly 

Bear, 
Who roared, "My Tail, O Rabbit! Let me have 

it on the spot!" 

"Why" stammered out the Rabbit, "please 
excuse me, I forgot!" 
[178] 



Oh, Bruin swung his forepaw like a mighty iron 

flail; 
He smote our luckless Bunny on the Precious 

Furry Tail 
And shore it off completely, save a little bit of 

fluff!- 
Still, Honey, for a Bunny that is cotton-tail enough. 



WOOD-HARVEST 

YELLOWBIRD and Oriole wing to southern shores; 
All the little foresters glean their winter stores. 

Frost unlocks the chestnut burr, ripes the chinkapin, 
All the little foresters get their harvest in. 

Chipmunk in the hazel-grove crams his pouches 

full; 
Deermouse finds the alder fruit ripe enough to pull; 

Butternut and hickory please the Squirrel well; 
Apples of the wilderness fill the Woodchuck s cell. 

Frisking on the mountainside, rustling down the 

comb, 
All the little foresters hold their Harvest Home. 



[180] 



COYOTE AND THE STAR 

THIS is a legend from Siskiyou Bar, 

About "The Coyote Who Danced with a Star." 

Now, great were the deeds that Coyote had done! 
Coyote had stolen the flame of the Sun; 
Coyote had opened the Frost- Wizard s pen, 
Releasing the Salmon, desired of men. 
Coyote was proud of his craft and his might, 
His fleetness of foot and his clearness of sight, 
His scent, that was choicest of all that is choice, 
But most was he vain of his wonderful voice! 
He sat like a monarch exalted on high 
Where Sisson s cold summits are keen in the sky, 
And watched on the sweep of ethereal blue 
The Stars and their satellites pass in review. 

Aloft and alone 
O er Shasta s white cone 
A mischievous Star-fairy twinkled and shone. 

fiSil 



So lightly she danced 

That, charmed and entranced, 
Coyote cried boldly, "Fair, heavenly Sprite, 
Permit me to join in your glorious flight; 

I beg, I demand! 

Oh, reach me your hand! 
Together we ll frolic o er water and land." 
How flashed the Aurora, till heaven and earth 
Were gay with the glow of celestial mirth! 
"O hairy Coyote! how stupid you are 
To dream for a moment to dance with a Star!" 

What pencil will venture what brush will engage 
To show the Coyote in justified rage? 
He lifted his muzzle, he stiffened his tail, 
Affrighting the Night with a quavering wail. 

With yelp and with yowl, 

With growl and with howl, 
He startled the Owl and the Panther aprowl. 
He screamed like a baby bereft of his toys; 
He shattered the sky with his scandalous noise, 

With his "Yap! yap! ki-yee!" 

In its weird minor key, 
For never was singer remorseless as he. 



All vainly the Fairy cajoled and denied; 

He wouldn t hear reason. Then, wearied, she cried, 

"I wish you were dumb! 

You re crazy; but come!" 
And gingerly reached him a finger and thumb. 
He leaped ! and away, like the shaft and the feather, 
The Star and Coyote were flying together. 

And now, as he fled with that Spirit of Light 
There rushed far beneath him a glorious sight 
Of ranges and canons and barrens and plains, 
Of rivers cascading with turbulent rains, 
Of armies of bison, and cimmaron gray, 
And legions of antelopes bounding away; 
The towns of the Mandans, the Nez Perce ranches, 
The Utes, Pi-Utes, the dashing Comanches 
And Modocs, in-reining their snorting cayuses 
And shouting to women with wickered papooses, 
"Look! See!" as they waved to that vision afar, 
"The Clever Coyote, above, with a Star!" 

To caper in style 
For many a mile 
Careering the heavens, was grand! for a while. 

13 [ 183 ] 



But frostily grew on Coyote, apace, 

The awe and the horror of limitless space. 

He felt on his temples the grip of a vise; 

The hand of his Partner seemed colder than ice. 

Twas dreadful to gaze upon mountains like 

barrows ! 

The tents of the Kahrocs like flint heads of arrows; 
The silvery Klamath, whose broad-bosomed flow 
Showed meager, mid hills, like the string of a bow 
Relaxed after battle. Grown dizzy and numb, 
He loosened his hold on the finger and thumb 
And dropped to the earth like a meteor plumb! 

And lit with a spat! 

As flat as a mat! 

So here is the Moral from Siskiyou Bar: 
"You Callow Coyote, don t dance with no Star!" 



HOMEWARD BOUND 

THERE S a pine-built lodge in a rocky mountain 

glen 

In the shag-breasted motherland that bore me; 
And the West Wind calls, and I m turning home 

again 
To the hills where my heart is gone before me, 

Where a lake laughs blue while the dipping paddles 

gleam, 

Where the wild geese are following their leader, 
Where the trout leaps up from the silver of the 

stream 
And the buck strikes his horn against the cedar. 



THE BALLAD OF THE BLACKBIRD 

THE Blackbird, the Blackbird was once of snowy 

white; 
What gave the sooty Blackbird a coat as dark as 

night ? 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird had music in his 
throat; 

What gave the croaking Blackbird a harsh, dis 
cordant note? 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird had once a beak of 

red; 
What gave the somber Blackbird a golden beak 

instead ? 



The Blackbird, the Blackbird came out to greet 

the Spring; 
He met a merry Magpie that bore a jeweled ring. 

fi861 



The Blackbird, the Blackbird would seek a gem 

as brave. 
"I found it," piped the Magpie, "within the 

Treasure Cave." 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird would learn where 

that might be. 
"To westward," sang the Magpie, "beyond the 

Opal Sea." 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird would know the 

cavern s lord. 
"A Dragon," chirped the Magpie, "protects the 

Golden Hoard." 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird would brave the 

Dragon s zeal. 
"Be honest," warned the Magpie, "and ask, but 

do not steal." 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird flew fast across 

the wave; 
Within the Sable Mountain he found the Treasure 

Cave. 

[187] 



The Blackbird, the Blackbird went hopping down 

the floor; 
The ransom of a kingdom was heaped in golden 

ore. 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird forgot what he was 

told; 
His thieving beak of crimson he dipped in dust 

of gold. 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird fled forth in shriek 
ing woe; 

The Dragon of the Treasure came roaring from 
below! 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird reached safety 

but, alack! 

The sulphur-breathing Dragon had scorched his 

plumage black! 

The Blackbird, the Blackbird can never more 

rejoice; 
That guilty cry of terror has marred his liquid 

voice. 

[188] 



The Blackbird, the Blackbird flies off in heavy 

shame; 
The gold he would have stolen defiles his beak 

of flame! 



THE BAT 

AIRY-MOUSE, hairy mouse, 

Keen-eared contrary mouse, 
Come from your cavern a star s in the sky! 

Fluttering, flittering, 

Eerily chittering, 
Swoop on your quarry, the dusk-haunting fly. 

Airy-mouse, wary mouse, 

Witch-bird or fairy-mouse, 
Soft through the shadow the dawn-glimmer steals; 

Night s your carousing-time, 

Day brings your drowsing-time; 
Hence to your hollow and hang by your heels! 



190] 



TEA WITH A DINOSAUR 

THUNDER-LIZARD, Brontosaurus, 
You that lived so long before us, 
You that ruled this mundane locus 
In the days of Diplodocus, 
Marvel of your age the classic 
Mesozoic time, Jurassic, 
Stir your sixty feet of length! 
Rouse your prehistoric strength! 
Lift your twenty tons anew! 
They are taking tea with you! 
What effrontery! what mockery! 
Rise, oh, rise and smash the crockery! 

Once you roamed o er rocks cretaceous 
Feasting on the growths herbaceous, 
Chewing Damarites gum 
With Iguanodon, your chum. 
Once you listened to the singing 
Of the Pterodactyls, winging 



Through the arborescent ferns. 
Doing acrobatic turns, 
Archaeopteryx bore chorus, 
When, with mighty Mososaurus 
And Triceratops the proud 
Through the tepid seas you plowed. 

Now you hearken to the clatter 

Of the tea-cups, and the chatter 

Of an upstart race, as dwarfish 

As a Cenozoic crawfish! 

Though they say you re not carnivorous, 

Wag that tail and Lord deliver us! 

Did some dragon-slaying Horus 
Cause your death, great Brontosaurus? 
Did the marshes cloak your glory 
With their mud? (A shameful story!) 
Once you breathed, Creation s wonder, 
And your footsteps woke the thunder. 

Now, they treat you with disdain; 
Say you had a two-pound brain, 
Not an ounce of wit to spare, 
And the courage of a hare! 



Will you hear the shocking slander 
Unrevengeful ? Where s your dander? 
Make these Men of Science see things! 
Raise a riot mongst the tea-things! 
Show the might you lived to glory in! 
Rise! insulted Dinosaurian! 



THE HUMMING-BIRD 

A MORSEL of rainbow forgot by a shower 
Is dashing the dew from the cardinal-flower. 
Two delicate pinions delightedly drumming 
Are witching the dawn with JLolian humming. 
A dainty black needle is probing the roses 
And proving what nectar the lily incloses. 
But under the honey-vine s odorous cover 
A true little bride waits her recreant lover. 
Then, fie! feathered truant, tis time you were 

winging; 

Enough of your feasting and music and singing, 
And arrow your flight to that bower of rest 
Your spider-web, thistledown, maidenhair nest! 



M94] 



THE RABBIT OF WALES 

MY riddle s a joy in a world of despair; 
A cousin, they say, of the merry March hare; 
He flourishes most at five hundred degrees; 
His cradle s a toast and his mother s a cheese; 
A troublesome, bubblesome, sweet little beast, 
His fragrant enough is as good as a feast 
(For who that is mortal may grapple with two?) 
When hot, he s ambrosia; when cold, he is glue. 
He never had fur, feathers, features, nor scales. 
The answer ? Of course ! Tis the Rabbit of Wales. 

When Arthur ruled Britain with scepter and sword, 
There came to the King at the festival board 
A wizard unrivaled in magical spell, 
Hight Morgan ap something in F-double-L. 
"Bold knights and true maidens!" he said, "ye 

perceive 
There s nothing concealed in the folds of my 

sleeve." 

[195] 



Then, "Hey! presto! change!" From the helm 

of King Lot 

He drew forth a Viand all smoking and hot. 
"This Marvel," quoth he, " mongst the chiefs of 

the dales 
Of Rheidol, is known as the Rabbit of Wales." 

Then reveled those lordlings, and when it beseemed 
They hied them to slumber. And, soothly, they 

dreamed 

Of gryfons and dragons and gy aunts, and thynges, 
And heathen enchaunters and Saracen kynges, 
And boars that had tuishes full twenty rods long, 
And jousts that were bloody and strokes that 

were strong, 

Of which, when ye read (an it please ye to look) 
Set down in the pages of Malory s book, 
Remember, that they who recounted these tales 
Had banqueted free on the Rabbit of Wales. 

He lives through the ages, more soothing than silk, 
As potent as porter, as gentle as milk. 
Unblemished of youth, he has heightened disport 
In hovel and palace, in tavern and court. 



When Jonson and Herrick made feasts at the 

Sun, 

The Boar and the Mermaid, of them he was one. 
He frolicked with Shakespeare, with Chaucer 

and Gower; 

He s older than Merlin and Owen Glendower; 
They find in the primal Devonian shales 
The fossil remains of the Rabbit of Wales. 

When tables are snowy, and heavenward roll 
The violet smoke wreaths that comfort the soul, 
He comes! from the region of skillets and spits 
Upborne on the platter of rubicund Fritz. 
How blithely he bubbles! How sweetly he steams! 
How mellow, how yellow, how tender he seems! 
So mild is his temper, we ll give it a cross; 
Then feed him with mustard and berry brown 

sauce, 

And drink his repose in the primest of ales: 
"Waes hael! to the rantipole Rabbit of Wales! 5 



[197 



MACARONI 

Tis made of the flour of wheat, so they say, 
Although I confess to the dawnings 

Of doubt how they mix it on Avenue A 
Before it is dried on the awnings. 

Fair Italy s sons in the family shed 

Alluringly drape it and coil it; 
But don t be afraid, for the microbes are dead 

As nails when you properly boil it. 

Tis blithe, in the cellars of festive New York 

To see how the diners assail it! 
Some mince it, some reel up its lengths on a fork, 

While others devoutly inhale it. 

It should be absorbed to "Faniculi s" strains, 

Or, maybe, to "Santa Lucia s." 
All poets agree it is good for the brains. 

The best may be had at Maria s. 

[ 198 ] 



I like it served hotter, by twenty degrees, 
Than any place mentioned by Dante; 

Then, quickly! Beppino, with plenty of cheese, 
And don t you forget the Chianti! 



4 Fiqq] 



THE CUCKOO 

(A FABLE FOR THE DIFFIDENT) 

A CUCKOO, winging toward the Town 

Of Tutinghorn, 
Espied a Wren that fluttered down 

Upon a thorn; 

And, lighting near, the silence broke 

With eager words 
Demanding how the village spoke 

Of other birds. 

"How talk they of the Nightingale?" 

The Cuckoo cried. 
"Her fame resounds through all the vale," 

The Wren replied. 

"The Lark," the Cuckoo hinted then, 

"Wins equal praise?" 
"Why, half the village," chirped the Wren, 

"Extol his lays." 

[200] 



"Perhaps they laud the Robin, too?" 

Quoth April s bird. 
"The Robin? Well, perhaps a few," 

The Wren averred. 

The Cuckoo paused. "What share have I 

Of praise or blame?" 
"Ah," laughed the Wren, who cannot lie, 

"None breathe your name." 

The Cuckoo huffed in wounded pride; 

Away he flew. 
"Then must I praise myself" he cried; 

"Cuckoo! Cuckoo!" 



201 ] 



TRAMPING 

His heart should sing from dawn to sunset flare, 
Wherever foot may tread his path may lie, 

His pack must be too small to hold a care 
Who takes for guide the gipsy butterfly. 

At morn the thrush, at noon the tinkling brook, 
At eve the cricket choir shall cheer his way; 

His eye shall find delight in every nook; 

The squirrels merry gnomes in red or gray, 

The clover bent beneath the booming bees, 
The woodchuck, sober monk in russet clad, 

The dragon-fly athwart the culverkeys 

Shall wake his love of things and make him glad. 

Again along a checkered road I swing 

Through friendly woods and fields where daisies 

nod, 

While still before me drifts on vagrant wing 
The butterfly whose beauty praises God. 
[202] 



MERE LITERATURE 



IMPUDENT INTERVIEWS 

I 
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW 

A CHEERFUL, well-appointed study at Number 
10, Adelphi Terrace, London, W. C., the blaze 
of a crackling fire, within, rendered doubly alluring 
by the bluster of a detestable March night, without. 
Substantial furniture, a neatly arranged desk, and 
bookcases filled with orderly volumes, notably the 
works of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Karl Marx 
and Plato, with dramatists old and new, suggest 
that the inmate is a methodical person possessed 
of philosophic and literary tastes. This diagnosis 
is borne out by the appearance of the victim him 
self as he stands with his back to the glow, his tall, 
thin, alert, Satanic figure sharply outlined against 
the yellow flames. How old is he? His some 
what scanty hair and beard, once red, but now al 
most colorless, indicate that he has emerged from 

[205] 



the larval stage of youthful cynicism and despond 
ency and is now in the full enjoyment of that 
radiant benevolence and optimism granted only 
to those who have known the triumphs and accom 
plished promises of half a century and more. 
His brown suit, red tie, and soft flannel shirt, as 
well as the broad-brimmed Alpine hat which he 
has thrown upon the table, reveal the Socialist; 
his excessive pallor betrays confirmed vegetarian 
ism; while his steel-blue eyes of soldierly direct 
ness give assurance that here is one who would 
sooner quarrel than eat a bushel of turnips. Upon 
the bookcase facing him stands a bronze portrait- 
bust, clearly of himself (for it is by the hand of 
no less a sculptor than Rodin), upon which his 
eyes fall quizzically, yet, on the whole, with great 
respect. To the right and left of this master 
piece are other works of art an effigy of Ibsen 
upon which our Protagonist, as he speaks, confers 
a glance of condescending approbation; a bas- 
relief of Wagner, which he notices with a slight 
nod that seems to say, "Very well, old man; but 
it s lucky for you that I devoted myself to Drama 
instead of Opera"; and an engraving of the Strat- 

[206] 



ford bust of Shakespeare which must, perforce, be 
content with a commiserating smile that may be 
interpreted as signifying, "Poor chap! You meant 
well, but you didn t know!" 



My birth? I beg you, let us call 

That mystery unsolved. 
In fact, I was not born at all, 

But, so to speak, evolved. 

My education? Books are naught; 

At schools I ve always spurned; 
So just put down, "The man was taught"; 

Or, better still, "He learned." 

You seek to know my aim in life? 

To write as best I can, 
To stir a little wholesome strife 

And hunt the Superman. 

Myself, the First of Supermen, 

I levitate above 
Your wabbling world, and now and then 

I give the thing a shove. 
[207] 



In motley clad ("the only wear!") 

I watch with fiendish grin 
Your childish bubbles float in air 

And prick them with a pin. 

My creed, though big and broad, insists 

On ten perfervid hells, 
Say one for anti-Socialists 

And nine for H. G. Wells. 

Ah, yes; I ve written loads of stuff 

From changing points of view, 
And all of it is bright enough, 

And much, I fear, is true. 

My Works? behold them, bound in calf 

Upon the middle shelf. 
They re great; yet, somehow, more than half 

I don t believe myself. 

For what is Truth? How well I know 

A jest confutes the wise! 
But this, at least, I m sure is so 

It pays to advertise! 

[208] 



II 

RUDYARD KIPLING 

WELL, take a chair, cock your feet upon the mantel 
piece 

(Seeing that s your custom in the "Country of 
the Free"); 

Though I ve always been averse 
My achievements to rehearse, 
Yet to ease an Anxious Public I will tell the tale 
of ME. 



Trained in a school in the dowie dens of Devon 
shire, 

Joined with wild companions full of dark 
iniquity, 

I concocted boyish crimes 
And composed satiric rhymes 
Till my college-mates and pedagogues were all 
afraid of ME. 

[209] 



Up came a ship and they packed me back to 

India, 

There to run a paper like a printer on a spree; 
And I wrote of many things, 
Yea, of Cabbages and Kings, 
For the Secrets of the Universe are openwork to 
ME. 

Sang I the wiles of the black and yellow Aryan, 
Brahman or Mohammedan of high or low degree: 
Khoda Baksh and Daoud Shah, 
Gunga Din and Dana Da, 
Their polka-dotted consciences were primers unto 
ME. 

Sang I the ways of the furry-coated Jungle Folk; 
Furthermore, the ways of the Best Society; 

But, speaking man to man, 

Young Mowgli and his clan 

In all the prime essentials seemed the better 
crowd to ME. 

Sang I the feats of the heavy-footed soldier-man, 
Infantry and horse, but especially of Three. 

[210] 



Oh, my views are often crude, 
And my manners mostly rude, 
But Stanley, Jock, and Terence were the best of 
friends with ME. 

Far went my fame, and afar I went to follow it, 
Ranged the zones and continents and roved From 
Sea to Sea; 

And I wrote of all I saw, 
And I flicked you on the raw, 
But, Masterpiece or Tommyrot, you bougnt my 
books of ME. 

Oh, I have whooped for entangled Jingo politics, 
Told of sordid battles and of Britons up a tree; 

I have bellowed double-bass 

For the Glory of the Race, 

And Sovereigns and Ministers have taken tips 
from ME. 

Ah, I have twanged of the choo-choo car and 

flying-ship, 
Imaging my world and the wonder yet to be; 

[211] 



Electricity and Steam 
And the Piston and the Beam 
And the Triple-action Whirligig are Poetry to ME. 

Now what remains but to sing the Song of Calculus, 
Logarithmic lullaby and algebraic glee? 

I will chant in Lowland Dutch 

Of Quaternions and such, 

And the boundless Fourth Dimension shall delight 
to honor ME! 



[212] 



Ill 

JACK LONDON 

IN the hurly and the burly of the Early Pleis 
tocene, 

Ere the Adamistic Dynasty began, 
I went roaming through the gloaming with my 

little forest queen, 

Not a Monkey, nor an Evoluted Man. 
Oh, we teased the Woolly Bear 
And we pulled the Mammoth s hair 
And we took the Snarly Tiger by the paw. 
Though I ve lived an awful lot, 
I have never quite forgot 
Human Nature as I knew it in the Raw. 

I m a Railer and a Trailer and a Sailor of the Seas 

(In my Present Incarnation, let me add), 
Anarchistic, atavistic, pessimistic, if you please, 
For I ve roved around the world and found it 
bad. 

[213] 



In the cold Alaskan camps, 

On the road with grimy tramps, 
On the ocean in the howling of the gale, 

I have played a fitting part; 

And I learned the writer s art 
By inventing lies to keep me out of jail. 

If you re burning to be earning over seven cents 

a word 

You must cultivate the Brutal and the Rude. 
Write a story that is gory; milder matter is 

absurd, 

For the Public has no taste for Baby Food. 
Give em Cruelty and Vice, 
Give em Misery on Ice, 

Give em rough-and-tumble, marlinspike, and gun; 
Give em groans to wake the dead, 
Make it Gristly, Ripe, and Red, 
For they love their Mental Beefsteak underdone. 



IV 

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY 

DOWN in Injianny (ez you may uv heard before), 
The sweet, ol -fashioned roses grow about the cot 
tage door, 
An hummin -birds go dartin roun the swayin 

hollyhawks, 
An* daisies edge the gardin paths where Arma- 

zindy walks. 
The little boys plays hooky, an they takes their 

fishin -pole, 
Or you kin hear em splashin in the riffled swim- 

min -hole, 
An other things is happenin what you mustn t 

write about, 
Or the Publishers 11 git you 

Ef you 

Don t 

Watch 

Out! 
*5 [215] 



Wunst there wuz a little boy what didn t mean 

no harm, 

But lived in Hancock County near a watermelon- 
farm; 
He might a been a lawyer, but wuz skeered o 

bein rich, 
So took to paintin signs an things, an actorin , 

an* sich, 
An singin* songs with chirp o bird an splash o 

summer rain, 
With here a tender, homey tale an there a quaint 

refrain. 
But don t you go a-makin rhymes that folks 

can t do without, 
Or the Publishers 11 git you 

Ef you 

Don t 

Watch 

Out! 

There s lots o fellers pennin* odes which some 
how don t connect, 

Becuz they think the major p int is Hoosier 
dialect. 

[216! 



Now dialect is handy ez a means o savin* time 
It often helps a lazy bard that s lookin* fer a 

rhyme; 

But poetry is poetry, no matter what the tongue 
The lovin thought, the lyric word appeals to old 

an* young; 
An* ef you got the hang uv it there isn t any 

doubt 

That the Publishers 11 git you 

Ef you 

Don t 

Watch 

Out! 



217] 



LETTERS TO THE LITERATI 

I 

TO SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE 

GENTLE Sir Conan, I ll venture that few have been 
Half as prodigiously lucky as you have been. 
Fortune, the flirt! has been wondrously kind to 

you, 

Ever beneficent, sweet, and refined to you. 
Doomed though you seemed one might swear 

without perjury 

Doomed to the practice of physic and surgery, 
Yet, growing weary of pills and physicianing, 
Off to the Arctic you packed, expeditioning. 
Roving and dreaming, Ambition, that heady sin, 
Gave you a spirit too restless for medicine; 
That, I presume, as Romance is the quest of us, 
Made you an Author the same as the rest of us. 
Ah, but the rest of us clamor distressfully, 
"How do you manage the game so successfully? 



Tell us, disclose to us how under Heaven you 
Squeeze from the inkpot so splendid a revenue!" 
Then, when you d published your volume that 

vindicates 

England s South African raid (or the Syndicate s), 
Pleading that Britain s extreme bellicosity 
Wasn t (as most of us think) an atrocity 
Straightway they gave you a cross with a chain 

to it 

(Oh, what an honor! I could not attain to it, 
Not if I lived to the age of Methusalem !) 
Made you a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem! 
Faith! as a teller of tales you ve the trick with 

you! 
Still there s a bone I ve been longing to pick with 

you: 

Holmes is your hero of drama and serial; 
All of us know where you dug the material 
Whence he was molded tis almost a platitude; 
Yet your detective, in shameless ingratitude 
Sherlock your sleuthhound with motives ulterior 
Sneers at Poe s "Dupin" as "very inferior!" 
Labels Gaboriau s clever "Lecoq," indeed, 
Merely "a bungler," a creature to mock, indeed! 
[219] 



This, when your plots and your methods in story 

owe 

More than a trifle to Poe and Gaboriau, 
Sets all the Muses of Helicon sorrowing. 
Borrow, Sir Knight, but be decent in borrowing! 
Still let us own that your bent is a cheery one, 
Little you ve written to bore or to weary one, 
Plenty that s slovenly, nothing with harm in it, 
Much with abundance of vigor and charm in it. 
Give me detectives with brains analytical 
Rather than weaklings with morals mephitical 
Stories of battles and man s intrepidity 
Rather than wails of neurotic morbidity! 
Give me adventures and fierce dinotheriums 
Rather than Hewlett s ecstatic deliriums! 
Frankly, Sir Conan, some hours I ve eased with 

you 
And, on the whole, I am pretty well pleased with 

you. 



[220] 



II 

TO J. M. BARRIE 

WHAT are you busy at, Barrie, my laddie-boy? 
Is it you re golfing, pursued by a caddie-boy? 
Man, are you preaching, romancing or joking 

now? 

What is the blend of tobacco you re smoking now? 
Maybe you re writing in hoot-awa dialect 
Sketches of orthodox elders and high, elect 
Kirkmen of Glasgow, or Thrums, or Glen Quharity, 
Long on religion yet lacking in charity, 
Banning all pleasures as covertly sinister. 
Give us some news of your braw Little Minister 
All in your true, Ecclefechan-Glengarry-tone 
Where is the voice that is sweeter than Barrie- 

tone ? 

There on my table with covers all gilded up, 
Peter and Wendy the book you have builded 
up 

[221] 



Out of the games we ve all played but forgot 

about, 
Out of the dreams that you know such a lot 

about 

Spreads, to recall to us poor ephemerides, 
How once we roved in the Golden Hesperides, 
Roved in our childhood when dreams were realities. 
Come! Let s adventure in new principalities; 
Fly through the blue empyrean, ecstatical; 
Skirmish with Injuns and villains piratical; 
Battle with lions and monsters reptilian; 
Slip from the gnashings of jaws crocodilian; 
Massacre grizzlies and tigers Hyrcanian; 
Wander in wonderful caves subterranean; 
Build in those underworlds marvelous palaces 
Proving the dogmas of physics pure fallacies; 
Dance with the mermaids and cope with those 

subtle fish, 

Shark and octopus and terrible cuttle-fish; 
Sport in the tree-tops with monkeys that hand 

to us 

Mangoes and nuts and are perfectly grand to us; 
Dig buried treasure in islands with cannibals; 
Conquer like Caesars, Napoleons, Hannibals! 

[222] 



Be but our leader, and fearless we ll follow you, 
Aye, though the maw of Leviathan swallow you! 

Old are the dreamers who, when they awake, be 
lieve 

All that they dreamed in their childhood was 
make-believe. 

Older are they who, engrossed in endeavor, land 

Seldom or never at all in your Neverland. 

Oldest are they that forget, in their gravity, 

E en that they dreamed in their youth and de 
pravity, 

Plodding and grubbing to win just a penny more, 

Too dull to sigh for Arcadia any more! 

Surely, such renegades we shall not show our 
selves. 

Must we grow up like them? Not if we know 
ourselves! 



223] 



Ill 

TO MAURICE HEWLETT 

WHO S the romancer to tax our credulities? 
Who but our hero, Sir Maurice de Hewlett, is! 
Have I been reading your "Song of the Renny" 

thing ? 

Sure! and it s quite too exciting for anything. 
Oh, but your ladies and knights are a fancy lot 
Pikpoynts and Blanchmains, Mabilla and Lance- 

ilhot, 

Borrowed from legend or chivalric chronicle, 
Fierce-hearted women folk, braggarts thrasonical, 
Nobles as gross as the Nile hippopotami, 
Lawless and lustful and skilled in phlebotomy, 
Villains that stab while the victim negotiates 
Hardly the kind one prefers as associates, 
Innocent maidens enmeshed in the scheme of 

things 
Do you eat mince-pie to help you to dream of 

things ? 

[224] 



Faith, tis a bedlam, the realm that you write 

about, 

Freckled with castles and ladies to fight about. 
Aye, tis a kingdom for raising the devil in, 
Such as good Brother Jack London would 

revel in. 

Bold is your fancy and wildly pictorial, 
Strangely controlled and yet phantasmagorial. 
Like your old churchmen you strive to illuminize, 
Yet, in creating, you only half humanize, 
Making your knights and their lovely affinities 
Not men and women, but fallen divinities 
Driven by Fate and their passions tyrannical. 
Then, but you ll say that I m too Puritanical. 
Though your morality somewhat too porous is, 
You can sling language to beat the thesauruses. 
So, go ahead with your epics of greater days, 
Making us glad that we re living in later days. 
Sing us your Iliads, Eddas, and Odysseys, 
Sing us of ladies with palpitant bodices, 
Long-sworded bravos and helmeted paladins, 
Troubadours, vavasours, Richards, and Saladins! 
Sing us of demoiselles, proudly imperial, 
Clad in some soft, gauzy, purple material; 

[225] 



Sing us of donjon, portcullis, and bartizan, 
Sing us of battle-ax, falchion, and partisan! 
Sing us of females that strangle their relatives, 
Sing us of poets with pretty appellatives, 
Sing of the loves of the lamellibranchia 
Anything s better than Senhouse and Sanchia! 



226] 



RHYMED REVIEW 
BELLA DONNA, BY ROBERT HICHENS 

THE Nile: Adorn our painted scene 
With dahabeeyahs, sphinxes, scarabs 

And choruses of fellaheen, 

Saadeyehs, donkey-boys, and Arabs. 

Here Nigel Armine brought his wife, 
"La Bella Donna" not to trim it, 

A lady with a checkered life, 

Prepared to go beyond the limit. 

Idyllic love, divine but tame, 

Had left her peevish, bored, and moody, 
When up the Nile Diversion came 

A Greek-Egyptian called Baroudi 

A millionaire with noble head, 

Soft voice, and eyes of burning glances, 
The sort of scamp expressly bred 

For recent white-and-tan romances, 
[227] 



Who made her woo him. Sad to state, 

His love was purely Oriental; 
Which means, about the lady s fate 

He didn t care a continental. 

They met on shadowed desert scaurs, 
Baroudi s tent the couple screening. 
* * * * * 

(Observe, I quote these little stars; 
Let Mr. Hichens clear their meaning). 

He dropped a hint; she snatched it up. 

With powdered lead in rank solution 
She dosed her husband s coffee-cup 

And would have wrecked his constitution. 

But ere the fatal work was done 
Appeared that heaven-sent physician 

The famous Doctor Isaacson, 
A Sherlock Holmes for intuition, 

To spoil the game. With little ruth 
He rent her sweet, angelic cover; 

So Bella Donna owned the truth 
And fled by night to join her lover. 
[228! 



He cast her off. In blinded haste, 
Before the birds began to twitter, 

She staggered far across the waste 
I hope to God a lion bit her! 



[229] 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 

BEYOND the Pleiades: 
"Your name?" 

"Sam Clemens, please." 
"Don t know you. Where in space 
D you hail from?" 

"Earth." 

"What place 
Is that?" 

"A place for fun." 
"Hmp! tell me what you ve done." 
"Let s see. I wrote Huck Finn 
"What? Mark! Why, come right in!" 



[230] 



THE YOUNG CELTIC POETS 

(WITH THANKS TO G. K. CHESTERTON) 

THEIR hearts are bowed with sorrow, 

They love to wail and croon; 
They shed big tears when they sigh, "Machree," 

Floods when they sob, "Aroon!" 

For the Young Gaels of Ireland 

Are the lads that drive me mad; 
For half their words need foot-notes, 

And half their rhymes are bad. 



16 [231] 



MAVRONE 

(ONE OF THOSE SAD IRISH POEMS, WITH NOTES) 

FROM Arranmore the weary miles I ve come; 

An all the way I ve heard 
A Shrawn 1 that s kep me silent, speechless, dumb, 

Not sayin any word. 

An was it then the Shrawn of Eire, 2 you ll 
say, 

For him that died the death on Carrisbool? 
It was not that; nor was it, by the way, 

The Sons of Garnim 3 blitherin their drool; 



1 A Shrawn is a pure Gaelic noise, something like a groan, 
more like a shriek, and most like a sigh of longing. 

2 Eire was daughter of Carne, King of Connaught. Her lover, 
Murdh of the Open Hand, was captured by Greatcoat Mack 
intosh, King of Ulster, on the plain of Carrisbool, and made 
into soup. Eire s grief on this sad occasion has become pro 
verbial. 

3 Garnim was second cousin to Manannan MacLir. His 
sons were always sad about something. There were twenty- 
two of them, and they were all unfortunate in love at the same 
time, just like a chorus at the opera. " Blitherin their drool" 
is about the same as "dreeing their weird." 

[232] 



Nor was it any Crowdie of the Shee, 1 
Or Itt, or Himm, nor wail of Barryhoo 2 

For Barrywhich that stilled the tongue of me. 
Twas but my own heart cryin 5 out for you, 
Magraw! 3 Bulleen, Shinnanigan, Boru, 
Aroon, Machree, Aboo! 4 

^he Shee (or "Sidhe," as I should properly spell it if you 
were not so ignorant) were, as everybody knows, the regular, 
stand-pat, organization fairies of Erin. The Crowdie was 
their annual convention, at which they made melancholy 
sounds. The Itt and Himm were the irregular, or insurgent, 
fairies. They never got any offices or patronage. See Mac- 
Alester, Polity of the Sidhe of West Meath, page 985. 

2 The Barryhoo is an ancient Celtic bird about the size of a 
Mavis, with lavender eyes and a black-crape tail. It con 
tinually mourns its mate (Barrywhich, feminine form), which 
has an hereditary predisposition to an early and tragic demise 
and invariably dies first. 

3 Magraw, a Gaelic term of endearment, often heard on the 
baseball fields of Donnybrook. 

4 These last six words are all that tradition has preserved 
of the original incantation by means of which Irish rats were 
rhymed to death. Thereby hangs a good Celtic tale, which 
I should be glad to tell you in this note; but the publishers say 
that being prosed to death is as bad as being rhymed to death, 
and that the readers won t stand for any more. 



233 



THE WRATH OF THE POET 

PM telling ye now of a hero of story 

The Seanachan, chief of the bards of his time, 

That harped before Guaire the King in his glory 
And proved to all Connaughtthe Power of Rhyme. 

When all in the palace was having a gay time 
The Seanachan entered, the brisk little man; 

"Mille failthe!" sez the King; "ye re as welcome 

as Maytime! 
And what are ye eating? and fill up yer can! 

"The whisky s forninst ye, the pot s on the bubble; 

And won t ye be having a slice of the leg?" 
"My thanks," sez the Bard; "am I giving ye 
trouble 

To ask them to boil me a bit of an egg?" 

They boiled him an egg and they brought it to 

table; 
But while he was tuning his harp for a lay, 

[234] 



The crafty old Rats from the cellar was able 
To reach the Bard s dinner and roll it away! 

And when he preceived how them Rats had been 

thieving, 

His wrath was tremendous, his anger was strong; 
He knew that his dinner was gone past retrieving, 
And hurled at the scamps all the might of his 
song. 

He sang of their wives and their sons and rela 
tions; 
He sneered at their habits, the taints of their 

blood, 

He blazoned the sins of their past generations 
And all their great-grandmothers back to the 
Flood. 

Now mind ye, the words that he used in his 

jeering 
Were those of a Poet well taught and well 

bred; 

Still, since there is always some ladies in hearing 
Tis best to forget what he sang and he said. 

[235] 



But, ah, the poor Rats! When those wretched 

rapscallions 
Had felt the full wrath of the Bard they d 

defied, 
They crawled from their crannies in troops and 

battalions, 
And, lifting their pitiful paws up, they died I 

So mark what I m telling, ye saucy gossoon ye! 

Don t anger a Poet, whatever ye re at, 
For fear he should curse ye, defame ye, lampoon ye, 

And rhyme ye to death like an old Irish Rat! 



[236] 



THE NEO-CELTIC CRITICISM 

WASN T ye there when the Celtic tragedians 
Played to a houseful of Irish comedians 
All of them zealous in matters Hibernian, 
Full of the ripest of Dublin Falernian 
All of them experts, entitled to criticize, 
Laden with eggs to assist them to witticize? 

Plain was the stage, and the costumes was pea 
sant-like; 

All the proceedings was easy and pleasant-like, 
Till, says the Hero (a queer Irish laddie, now!), 
"Sure, an I m just after killin me daddy, now." 

Up from his seat jumped a critic meticulous: 
"Bosh!" says he loudly; " tis vile an ridiculous!" 
And, for to prove that his judgment was plenary, 
Hove a potato right into the scenery! 
"Yes," says another, "I fully agree with ye. 
Erin, sweet Erin, they re making too free with ye! 

[237] 



Such fabrications are false and felonious; 
Here s a tomato that brands them erroneous!" 
"Sir," cried a third, "yer position s invincible!" 
Hurling an egg in defense of the Principle. 
"Aye," chimed a fourth, and to clinch it, upsetted a 
Critical vial of pure asafoetida. 
Then came a shower of erudite reasoning 
Cabbages, turnips, and pepper for seasoning 
Till, though undaunted, the Irish Melpomene 
Saw all the stars in the book of astronomy. 

Now to the aid of the criticized player folk 
Rushed the policemen, rebutting the gayer folk, 
Out through the lobby persuasively booting them, 
Using their clubs in the way of confuting them. 
When in discussion the Bluecoats had bested them, 
Straightway those fine Irish critics arrested them. 

Scolding the culprits, says Magistrate Corrigan, 
"Don t ye be doing the like any more again. 
Shut up your mouths ! I don t want any speech of ye; 
Ten paper dollars I m asking from each of ye. 
And, ye ll remember, when next ye are hating things, 
Clubs are the old Irish means of debating things!" 

[238] 



THE VILLAIN PROTESTS 

A NOVEL (published by Macmillan) 
Is now before you; I m the Villain. 
For, though a Villain I abhor, 
That s what my Author means me for. 

Now, if your intellect s alert, you 
Will know that I m in love with Virtue; 
Yet, all to help the story, I m 
Foredoomed to Wickedness and Crime. 



A sad predestination this 

To work for meed of groans and hisses, 

To shuffle, cozen, slay and rob 

And fail! however, that s my job. 

A Hero may be vain or idle 
Or dissolute or homicidal; 
But he is privileged, and so 
Emerges whitewashed, pure as snow. 

[239] 



Then what determines who in fiction 
Shall have your praise or malediction 
Yes, who shall be the Villain, who 
The Hero? Just a Point of View! 

Does anybody doubt that Nero 

In his own story was the hero? 

While Washington, I ve somewhere heard, 

Was not revered by George the Third. 

So, Gentle Reader, judge me rightly 
And see a Hero, brave and knightly, 
Resolved to foil, by hook or crook, 
The Caitiff Author of this book! 

My plots shall all be most successful; 
I ll win the Heroine distressful 
(Her love is all a body needs 
To sanctify his darkest deeds). 

My adversaries I ll belabor; 
And when upon my flashing saber 
That Other Fellow I impale, 
/ // be the Hero of this tale! 
[240] 



OPERA IN ENGLISH: AlDA 



THE other night I went with Vida 
To hear the opera, "Aid a," 
Which offers musical descriptions 
Of love among the old Egyptians. 
Amneris, (lovely Madame Homer, 
A star, and that is no misnomer) 
A Princess, was exceeding partial 
To young Radames, brave and martial, 
Whose heart, alas! was palpitating 
About the royal maid-in-waiting 
Aida (Madame Emmy Destinn, 
Who really didn t look her best in 
A sable frock with golden borders). 
Radames, getting marching orders, 
Led forth to war his gallant bowmen 
And soon returned with captive foemen, 
Among these luckless ones, a rather 
Unruly chief, Aida s father! 



(A king of Ethiopia shepherds 

Arrayed in skins of spotty leopards.) 

Radames, loath to treat severely 

The kin of her he loved so dearly, 

Implored the priests to loose his chattel. 

Radames having won a battle, 

The council felt obliged to heed him. 

They cheered the captive king and freed him. 

The savage king proved aught but grateful; 

He growled, "Your Egypt s simply hateful! 

Hist! Friend Radames, take my daughter; 

We ll flee afar from chains and slaughter; 

Amid the pleasant desert places 

Fll make you lord of other races!" 

The plotters three away were winging 

When all the others heard them singing 

And found their song sufficient reason 

To cast them into jail for treason. 

Now came Amneris, half-demented; 

She cried, "Radames, they ve consented 

To spare you if, no more a rover, 

You ll swear to throw Aida over!" 

Radames (Signor E. Caruso), 

Refusing stubbornly to do so, 

[242] 



They buried him beneath the pavement! 
Ai da shared his quick begravement, 
And so they perished, Heaven love them! 
Amneris shedding tears above them. 



[2431 



WHAT THE EDITOR WANTS 

MY dear Mr. Inkling: 
We want in a twinkling 
A story just tinkling 

With humor and zest; 
Not gloomy or fearful 
Or morbid or tearful 
But pleasant and cheerful 

And one of your best. 

The kind that we meet with 
But seldom; a treat with 
A plot that s replete with 

Heart interest, you know; 
Original, truly; 
And yet not unduly 
Bizarre or unruly, 

But quite comme il faut. 

We like brisk narrations 
With bright conversations 
[244] 



And lively flirtations 

(That end with a ring), 
Or young politicians 
And maidens with missions 
Who better Conditions 
And that sort of thing. 

We re fond of the prattle 
Of punchers of cattle; 
We ll stand for the rattle 

Of guns, and a deal 
Of ranch or hacienda; 
Or maybe you ll send a 
Romance a la Zenda 

All flashing with steel. 

We trust that you re shipping 
A tale simply ripping 
And virile and gripping, 

Yet nothing above 
Our Readers, nor slushy 
Nor mushy nor gushy, 
But oh, slightly blushy, 

With plenty of love! 

[245] 



L ENFOI 
THE MENTORS 

MY table holds a book, well scored, 

A simple gift my mother gave; 
Above my couch-head hangs a sword, 

A sword that helped to free the slave. 

My shelves are bare of costly books, 
My walls of works that Art would prize, 

But down upon me ever looks 
One pictured face with constant eyes. 

These give me strength to speak to men 
What truth I know; they cheer Defeat, 

They counsel Doubt; they rule my pen, 
Three mentors, wise and strong and sweet. 

No bitter word I dare to trace, 

No craven thought, no phrase untrue, 

While Book and Sword and your dear face 
Keep watch and ward on all I do. 

[246] 



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THIS BOOK ON THE DATE DUE. THE PENALTY 
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OVERDUE. 




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